Traumatized refugee children: The case for individualized diagnosis and treatment

J. David Kinzie, Keith Cheng, Jenny Tsai, Crystal Riley

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    19 Scopus citations


    The first 131 traumatized refugee children evaluated and treated in a child specialty clinic indicated a wide variety of trauma including war-related traumas (21%) for areas of recent conflict and domestic violence (28%) predominantly occurring in patients from Mexico and Latin America. Clinical diagnoses indicate PTSD was common (63%) in the war trauma group but was found less (25%) in the domestic violence group. Otherwise, the refugee clinic population showed a wide variety of diagnoses, including 20% having learning or cognitive disability or clear mental retardation. The traumatized refugee children had a similar prevalence of PTSD and depression to a comparable group of American child psychiatry patients. Refugee children have faced a variety of traumas and have a variety of diagnoses. All traumatized refugee children need an individualized evaluation and treatment plan. Trauma focused therapy is not appropriate for all refugee children.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)534-537
    Number of pages4
    JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
    Issue number7
    StatePublished - Jul 2006


    • Children
    • Diagnosis
    • Refugee
    • Traumatized
    • Treatment

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Psychiatry and Mental health


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