Trauma Without Borders: The Necessity for School-Based Interventions in Treating Unaccompanied Refugee Minors.
Boston University School of Social Work.
Published: December 2018
Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal
Vol. 35, No. 6 , p. 551-565
Springer International Publishing AG
233 Spring Street
New York, NY 10013
Tel: 212-460-1500 800-SPRINGER
This article explores migration trauma among Mexican and Central American unaccompanied refugee minors (URM) with the purpose of developing an understanding of migration as a tripartite process consisting of: pre-migration exposure to traumatic stressors, in-journey stressors, and post-migration stressors. The migration experience of these youth may be subjectively different depending on a wide range of factors. The complexities of migration are explored as a traumatic, tripartite process. These three salient components of migration may act as precursors, often resulting in psychological sequelae such as: post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression. Of all migrant groups, URM are more likely to develop psychiatric symptoms. Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS), and Mental Health for Immigrants Program (MHIP) are among the most effective interventions in the treatment of PTSD, anxiety, and depression in refugee minors. Social workers in schools are in unique positions to provide mental health services to URM. A case example illustrating a cultural adaptation of TF-CBT in an urban public high school is included. Clinical implications of culturally responsive and trauma-informed treatment of URM in schools will be discussed. Additionally, this article will emphasize the importance of bridging the gap between research and culturally responsive, trauma-informed interventions for URM in schools. (Author abstract)
refugees; undocumented immigrants; school linked services; unaccompanied children; childhood trauma; psychology; posttraumatic stress disorder; anxiety; depression; trauma informed practice; Cognitive therapy; mental health services; social workers role; cultural competency