Mental Health Outcomes for Youth Living in Refugee Camps: A Review

Nadia Vossoughi, Yo Jackson, Stephanie Gusler, Katie Stone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Currently, there are approximately 10.8 million child refugees worldwide. Youth living in refugee camps face a wide range of difficulties placing them at risk for trauma exposure and negative mental health outcomes. However, little is known about the mental health functioning of these youth. The present review provides a systematic review of mental health outcomes for refugee/displaced youth residing in refugee camps. Twenty studies were included in the present review. Among these studies, the prevalence of mental health disorders varied greatly with some studies reporting null effects for disorders like posttraumatic stress disorder and others reporting prevalence as high as 87%. Levels of anxiety, somatic symptoms, depression, and aggression also varied across studies. The results point to the significant need for more research on the mental health of youth residing in refugee camps. Despite the wide range of measurement approaches, the evidence points to a fairly consistent finding of a range of maladjustment problems for youth living in refugee camps. Implications for improving the methodology for investigating mental health are discussed.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)528-542
Number of pages15
JournalTrauma, Violence, and Abuse
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • mental health
  • refugee camps
  • refugee youth


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