Well-Being and Learning: Processes of Resilience in Refugee Children
Researchers: Jennifer Jenkins1, Kathy Georgiades2, Johanne Paradis3, Xi (Becky) Chen1, and Alexandra Gottardo4
Affiliation: OISE, University of Toronto1, McMaster University2, University of Alberta3, Wilfred Laurier University4
Research Partner: NorQuest College and H.appi
Keywords: Syrian refugee children, well-being, mental health, learning, language, cognitive functioning, trauma, quantitative research, interviews
Objective: This study is a collaboration with a CYRRC project from the Language and Learning cluster to explore the relationship between learning and well-being in Syrian refugee children.
Justification: Syrian refugee children represent a population at high risk for problems in both cognitive functioning and well-being. There are well established associations between children’s learning capability and well-being in the general population, but this relationship has not been examined in refugee children.
Practical goal: to identify rates of cognitive and mental health problems among refugee children, the extent to which learning and mental health influence each other over time, and parents’ concerns, service use, and gaps in service with respect to children’s learning and well-being since arriving in Canada.
Primary audience: educators, service providers, academics, and refugee families
This study will recruit 100 children from newcomer agencies in Toronto, Manitoba, and Guelph. The participating children will be visited at home on two occasions one year apart and administered well-established and psychometrically valid measures, translated into Arabic, to assess their mental health, language, and literacy. Semi-structured interviews will be conducted with parents to understand use of available services and service requirements.
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