MENTAL HEALTH AND EMOTION REGULATION AMONG REFUGEE STUDENTS IN MALAYSIA
O'Neal, Colleen R
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The global refugee crisis has propelled over 65.3 million refugees into flight, including 33 million children (UNHCR, 2016). This study utilizes a mixed-methods design to examine mental health and emotion regulation among post-conflict Southeast Asian refugee children. To understand stressors that may cause mental health challenges, this study explores themes raised in qualitative interviews addressing oppression in Burma, flight to Malaysia, and life in Malaysia. Quantitative study participants included 90 refugee children in Malaysia aged 10-19 years (M = 14.22, 74.4% Burmese, 51.1% female). Measures included the Kiddie-Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia-Present and Lifetime Version (K-SADS-PL) and the Emotions as a Child (EAC) Qualitative participants included four refugee boys who participated in a group interview about their individual experiences. This study examined: rates of PTSD and MDD among refugee students, the relation between emotion regulation and mental health, and the unique post-conflict stressors experienced by refugee children.