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 mental health services. The applicant's long-term research goal is to develop expertise in multicultural mental health services research for refugee children and adolescents. The purpose of this Career Development Award (K01) is to lay the groundwork for future independent research by building skills in cross-cultural assessment of mental health constructs, identifying services needs and preferences in diverse cultural groups, and understanding the risk and protective processes that contribute to resilient outcomes in multicultural populations. The research and training plan is organized according to a model that addresses: 1) identifying and defining locally-important mental health problems to target in assessment and screening;2) identifying services needs and preferences and understanding how culturally-relevant protective processes function to improve mental health outcomes in different cultural groups;3) translating knowledge on protective processes to develop or adapt community-based mental health services that target culturally-relevant modifiable protective processes as """"""""active ingredients"""""""". Three studies are proposed to complement this model. Studies 1 &2 use quantitative and qualitative methods to investigate local conceptualizations of mental health problems and protective processes that will inform assessment and mental health services development in two different refugee/displaced populations (one war-affected adolescents in northern Uganda, the other resettled Somali Bantu child and adolescent refugees in the U.S.). Study 3 entails secondary analysis of protective processes to prioritize in intervention development for disadvantaged ethnic minority youth and will build models to replicate in future multicultural mental health services research on refugees. Drawing from the skills, preliminary data and pilot measures developed during the award period, the applicant plans to develop an R01 proposal to develop and test community-based mental health services for refugee youth resettled in the U.S.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Type
Research Scientist Development Award - Research & Training (K01)
Project #
5K01MH077246-03
Application #
7770821
Study Section
Mental Health Services in Non-Specialty Settings (SRNS)
Program Officer
Hill, Lauren D
Project Start
2008-03-15
Project End
2013-02-28
Budget Start
2010-03-01
Budget End
2011-02-28
Support Year
3
Fiscal Year
2010
Total Cost
$170,990
Indirect Cost
Name
Harvard University
Department
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Type
Schools of Public Health
DUNS #
149617367
City
Boston
State
MA
Country
United States
Zip Code
02115
Betancourt, Theresa S; Newnham, Elizabeth A; Birman, Dina et al. (2017) Comparing Trauma Exposure, Mental Health Needs, and Service Utilization Across Clinical Samples of Refugee, Immigrant, and U.S.-Origin Children. J Trauma Stress 30:209-218
Scorza, Pamela; Duarte, Cristiane S; Stevenson, Anne et al. (2017) Individual-level factors associated with mental health in Rwandan youth affected by HIV/AIDS. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 52:867-875
Scorza, Pamela; Araya, Ricardo; Wuermli, Alice J et al. (2016) Towards Clarity in Research on ""Non-Cognitive"" Skills: Linking Executive Functions, Self-Regulation, and Economic Development to Advance Life Outcomes for Children, Adolescents and Youth Globally. Hum Dev 58:313-317
McBain, Ryan K; Salhi, Carmel; Hann, Katrina et al. (2016) Costs and cost-effectiveness of a mental health intervention for war-affected young persons: decision analysis based on a randomized controlled trial. Health Policy Plan 31:415-24
Betancourt, Theresa S; Gilman, Stephen E; Brennan, Robert T et al. (2015) Identifying Priorities for Mental Health Interventions in War-Affected Youth: A Longitudinal Study. Pediatrics 136:e344-50
Betancourt, Theresa S; Abdi, Saida; Ito, Brandon S et al. (2015) We left one war and came to another: resource loss, acculturative stress, and caregiver-child relationships in Somali refugee families. Cultur Divers Ethnic Minor Psychol 21:114-25
Betancourt, Theresa S; McBain, Ryan K; Newnham, Elizabeth A et al. (2015) The intergenerational impact of war: longitudinal relationships between caregiver and child mental health in postconflict Sierra Leone. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 56:1101-7
Betancourt, Theresa S; McBain, Ryan; Newnham, Elizabeth A et al. (2014) Context matters: community characteristics and mental health among war-affected youth in Sierra Leone. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 55:217-26
Betancourt, Theresa S; Yang, Frances; Bolton, Paul et al. (2014) Developing an African youth psychosocial assessment: an application of item response theory. Int J Methods Psychiatr Res 23:142-60
Betancourt, Theresa S; McBain, Ryan; Newnham, Elizabeth A et al. (2014) A behavioral intervention for war-affected youth in Sierra Leone: a randomized controlled trial. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 53:1288-97

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