Investigating Outcomes of a Family Strengthening Intervention for Resettled Somali Bantu and Bhutanese Refugees: An Explanatory Sequential Mixed Methods Study

Sarah Elizabeth Neville, Kira DiClemente-Bosco, Lila K. Chamlagai, Mary Bunn, Jordan Freeman, Jenna M. Berent, Bhuwan Gautam, Abdirahman Abdi, Theresa S. Betancourt*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Pre- and post-migration stressors can put resettled refugee children at risk of poor mental health outcomes. The Family Strengthening Intervention for Refugees (FSI-R) is a peer-delivered preventative home visiting program for resettled refugees that aims to draw upon families’ strengths to foster improved family communication, positive parenting, and caregiver-child relationships, with the ultimate goal of reducing children’s risk of mental health problems. Using an explanatory sequential mixed methods design, this study draws upon qualitative interviews with caregivers (n = 19) and children (n = 17) who participated in a pilot study of the FSI-R intervention in New England, as well as interventionists (n = 4), to unpack quantitative findings on mental health and family functioning from a randomized pilot study (n = 80 families). Most patterns observed in the quantitative data as published in the pilot trial were triangulated by qualitative data. Bhutanese caregivers and children noted that children were less shy or scared to speak up after participating in the FSI-R. Somali Bantu families spoke less about child mental health and underscored feasibility challenges like language barriers between caregivers and children. Interventionists suggested that families with higher levels of education were more open to implementing behavior change. In both groups, families appreciated the intervention and found it to be feasible and acceptable, but also desired additional help in addressing broader family and community needs such as jobs and literacy programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number12415
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume19
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2022

Keywords

  • child mental health
  • community-based participatory research
  • home visiting
  • parenting
  • prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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