Mental Health and Resilience Status Of Eritrean Unaccompanied Refugee Minors In Sudan

Abdelrahman Badri, Shahla Eltayeb, Marwa Mohamed, Helen Verdeli - Children and Youth Services Review



Many Unaccompanied Refugee Minors (URM) are living in low-income countries and little research has been done to understand this population in these particular settings. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of depression, anxiety, and resilience in Eritrean unaccompanied refugee minors living with foster parents in Sudan.


Forty-five Eritrean URM completed the Hopkins Symptom Checklist (HSCL-25 and Child and Youth Resilience Measure (CYRM-28) on the prevalence of depression, anxiety, and resilience, and an open-ended question about daily stressors.


Eritrean URM displayed high prevalence rates of anxiety and depression, as well as resilience. 88.9% scored above the cutoff value for depression and anxiety, and 71.1% had high levels of resilience. Duration of adoption had significant effect on anxiety. URM who were related to their foster parents had higher levels of resilience. High levels of resilience did not buffer from perceived daily stressors or reported mental health symptoms.


The high prevalence rates of psychological distress among URM highlights the need for direct intervention through trained mental health providers, teachers, and foster parents in order to utilize their resilience factor and facilitate their recovery and integration within the community. In highlighting the psychological distress among refugee children we aim to advocate for closing the gaps proposed by the sustainable development goals in mental health and quality education.