Depression, loneliness, and factors influencing in Syrian refugee children

Filiz Solmaz, Hulya Karatas, Hasan Kandemir, Abdullah Solmaz
International Journal of Clinical Practice 2021 January 22, : e14039

AIMS: About 3.5 million Syrian refugees are living within the borders of Turkey. This study examined depression, loneliness, and factors influencing refugee children who live outside the camps and attend school in Turkey.

METHODS: This was a descriptive study in Sanliurfa, which has the second highest refugee population in Turkey. The sample consisted of 535 students attending 6-8 grades in five schools randomly selected out of 18 schools located in the city center where the Syrian children received their education. Data were collected using the Sociodemographic Characteristics Question Form, the Depression Scale for Children, and the UCLA Loneliness Scale. Data were analyzed by IBM spss v23. The percentage, average, and standard deviation were determined. A linear regression analysis was used to examine the independent variables affecting loneliness and depression scores, and the Backward method was used to include independent variables in the model. Significance level was considered as p<0.05.

RESULTS: The average age of the children was 13.22±1.33 years and 57.9% female. The average UCLA Loneliness Scale score was 42.95±7.77. About 42% of the children received ≥ 19 on the depression scale, and 65% of them received ≥ 40 on the UCLA Loneliness Scale. Independent variables affecting depression score and UCLA loneliness score were analyzed by a linear regression analysis. The linear regression model established for depression and UCLA loneliness score was obtained as statistically significant (p<0,001).

CONCLUSION: Depression and loneliness scores were relatively high in children, particularly those exposed to the devastating impacts of war. These results will make significant contributions to the planning of services to be provided for this group of children.

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