Integration of refugees into the education system at the resettlement country is a significant issue. In this study, we investigated how refugee students are affected in terms of psychological symptoms by studying in the same classroom with their local peers. This cross-sectional study was conducted during the school year in Mardin, Turkey. Participants consisted of 105 Syrian refugee adolescents and 66 Turkish adolescents attending a secondary school. The participants completed the socio-demographic data form, war-related traumatic experiences questions, and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Syrian refugees had lived for an average of 5 years in Turkey. Number of adolescents who have more than one traumatic experience was 50 (47.6%). As quantified by the SDQ, it has been found that children who experience more than one traumatic event have more psychological problems than those who experienced only one traumatic event in all areas except the social problems subscale. Emotional Problems Subscale, Peer Problems Subscale and Total SDQ scores have shown statistically significant differences according to classroom typology. Experiencing a traumatic moment in war increased the psychiatric symptoms of adolescents as quantified by the SDQ. If refugee children study in the same classes as non-refugee children, their psychiatric symptoms were less frequent.

DOI: 10.1007/s10560-020-00684-2
ISSN: 0738-0151