Universität Bielefeld

© Universität Bielefeld

Mental Health of Young Refugees: A Longitudinal Study across a Two-Year-Interval

Project description

The research project is part of the YOURHEALTH project "Stress, Health and Integration of Young Refugees: Discovering the Interrelations and Improving Access to Healthcare". The main objective of this longitudinal study is to analyse the developmental trajectories of young refugees (N=1240) aged 8 to 18 in their new environment after their arrival in Germany. The general expectation is that psychological health and well-being show improvements during the two year-interval. There may be different developmental trajectories associated with more or less appropriate adjustment processes. A second main objective is to search for influential factors, which may explain the emergence of different developmental trajectories. Possible impacts are expected from (a) previous or current traumatic experiences, (b) personal and social resources, (c) acculturation strategies, (d) coping strategies, (e) parental and familial influences and (f) the utilization of support offers. The purpose of this research project is to identify risk factors associated with adverse developmental trajectories as well as resources associated with favourable developmental trajectories in young refugees. This knowledge can be used to provide support tailored to the specific needs of young refugees (in reducing barriers to utilize support offers, in improving personal or social resources needed for favourable adjustment processes etc.). As a consequence, this research project has implications for preventive as well as interventive efforts for young refugees as a target group.



Project management: Arnold Lohaus (Bielefeld University)
Heike Eschenbeck (University of Education Schwäbisch Gmünd)
Scientific management: Bielefeld University:
Zeynep Demir
Hannah Nilles
Denise Kerkhoff
Jana-Elisa Rüth
University of Education Schwäbisch Gmünd:
Pia Schmees
Johanna Braig
Research assistants: Bielefeld University:
Katharina Sievers
Selina Demirtaş
Alaa Abdulkadir
Akram Sadeghifar
University of Education Schwäbisch Gmünd:
Silvia Fiore
Aleks Koleva
Nahid Mostafalou
Tiziana Kokeisl
Mhd Manar Al Khawam
Bahaa Aldin Ziadah

Get involved

You are a teacher or social worker and know children who are interested in participating in the study? Write us an e-mail for more information and how to proceed. We will be happy to come by and see you.

You come from Syria, Afghanistan or Iraq, are between 8 and 18 years old and live in Bielefeld/OWL or Stuttgart/Ostalbkreis? If you are interested in the project, don't hesitate to contact us. We will then explain to you how to proceed.

Are you a student looking for a varied part-time job? Get in touch with us. Maybe we have a suitable job for you.

You simply find the project interesting and would like to learn more about it. Write us an e-mail. We appreciate your interest and will be happy to answer your questions.

Bielefeld: yourhealth-info@uni-bielefeld.de
Stuttgart/Ostalbkreis: yourhealth@ph-gmuend.de


General information about the study in all languages (German, Arabic, Persian, Kurmanji, Sorani and Paschto) can be found here.

In addition, specific information for the locations Bielefeld and Stuttgart/Schwäbisch Gmünd can be found in the boxes below:

Data Protection & Privacy

Data protection is very important for our research. That is why you can find everything we do for data protection and privacy on this page. You can download our data protection concept in different languages as well as versions for children and teens. In addition, you can watch our videos for children and teens containing the most important points of how we handle your data.

Any questions left? Please contact us:

yourhealth-info@uni-bielefeld.de and yourhealth@ph-gmuend.de

You want your/your children’s data deleted? Please contact our data trustee:

Sabine Peglow
Bielefeld University
Department of Psychology
AE03- Developmental Psychology
Phone: +49 0521 106 – 6862
Uwe Heim-Dreger
Pädagogische Hochschule Schwäbisch Gmünd
Abteilung Pädagogische Psychologie und Gesundheitspsychologie
Phone: +49 07171 983-401

Datenschutz-Informationen auf Deutsch


Videos about Data Protection:

Data Protection Video in Arabic
Data Protection Video in Farsi
Data Protection Video in German
Data Protection Video in Kurdish Kurmanji
Data Protection Video in Kurdish Sorani


Cooperating partners

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October 2019
In October an interdisciplinary participation took place at the World Health Summit (https://www.worldhealthsummit.org) in Berlin. Zeynep Demir (YOURGROWTH) and Yudit Namer, Diana Podar, Oliver Razum (from YOURCARE) took part in the Summit. This resulted in interesting and helpful interdisciplinary discussions with colleagues from science and policymakers from Germany and abroad on the issue of (mental) health in the context of migration.

September 2019
At the paEpsy conference 2019 in Leipzig, our research associates Denise Kerkhoff and Hannah Nilles presented initial findings of the first data collection wave. Denise Kerkhoff's talk "How multilevel structures influence measures in samples of migrant students" and Hannah Nilles's poster "Coping and Acculturation Strategies of Young Refugees in Germany" offered first insights into the data and were starting points for interesting discussions with colleagues from the field of developmental psychology.

September 2019
Im Rahmen des Projekts YOURGROWTH wird eine studentische Hilfskraft (SHK/WHK) ab dem 15.01.2020 für 5 - 7 Std./Woche gesucht. Mehr Infos erhalten Sie hier.

February 2019
Within the symposium "Interdisciplinary Perspectives of Refugee Migration and Health" organized by FlüGe - Opportunities and Challenges of Global Refugee Migration for Health Care in Germany (School of Public Health, Bielefeld University, 21-22 February 2019), our research associate Zeynep Demir presented a poster on "Resources of Refugee Children and Adolescents in the Acculturation Process".

October 2018
In October 12th-13th, our research associates Zeynep Demir and Hannah Nilles presented the YOURHEALTH project at the III. International Interdisciplinary Conference on Refugees and Forced Immigration in Istanbul, organised by the Eastern Mediterranean Academic Research Center in Turkey. There has been a helpful scientific exchange with scientists from England, Irland, Greece, Italy, South Africa, and Turkey.