In the first phase of this follow-up study we investigated how the use of more than one language affects mental wellbeing and school achievement among 320 school-aged Finnish-Swedish re-migrant children. Now, in the second phase, we screened the same series of children 6 years after migration for psychiatric and psychosomatic symptoms. Out of five groups distinguished in terms of patterns of language use, two had fared well and three showed evident vulnerability. Both successful groups were marked by consistent use of the two languages, Finnish and Swedish, whereas the risk groups were characterised by mixed use of languages before re-migration or substantial language shift after re-migration.
We assessed the relationship between psychological deviance and performance level at school among 8-year-old children. The use of special education among children with psychiatric disorders was also studied. In Stage 1, 5813 children were studied using the Rutter Parent Questionnaire (RA2), the Rutter Teacher Questionnaire (RB2) and the Children's Depression Inventory (CDI). In Stage 2, a subsample (n = 424) of these children were interviewed, using the Isle of Wight Interview. In Stage 1, more children defined as low achievers (LAs) came from low SES families than did average (NAs) and high achievers (HAs). They also had more psychiatric symptoms, and they scored above the cutoff (13 points on the RA2, nine points on the RB2 and 17 points on the CDI) more commonly than other children. In Stage 2, two thirds of children who received special education had some psychiatric disorder. The probability of a child with psychiatric disorder obtaining some extra tutoring or special education was 3.1-fold when compared with children without psychiatric disorders. Depressive children and children with attention deficit disorders most commonly had extra tutoring (4.8-fold) when compared with children without psychiatric disorders. The probability of getting special education was highest for attention deficit disorders (6.2-fold), thereafter for anxiety (3.1-fold), and for oppositional/conduct disorders (2.8-fold).