Modifiable Protective Processes in the Mental Health of Refugee Children


Principal Investigator:
Theresa Betancourt, Assistant Professor of Child Health and Human Rights

Francois Xavier Bagnoud

Dates of Research:
March 15, 2008 — February 28, 2013


An immense gap exists between the serious mental health risks faced by refugee and war-affected children and our knowledge of what leads to resilient mental health outcomes in these populations. Even though children as a group are often underserved by systems of mental health care, refugee children represent a particularly complex and vulnerable service population due to histories of trauma, low service utilization and limited availability of culturally-appropriate interventions. The investigator’s long-term goal is to develop expertise in community-based intervention development, adaptation and testing of mental health interventions for refugee children and adolescents. The purpose of this award is to lay the groundwork for such future research by building skills in cross-cultural assessment of mental health constructs, identifying service needs and preferences in diverse cultural groups and understanding the risk and protective processes that contribute to resilient outcomes in multicultural populations.