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Attachment, risk and resilience among school-age children in a multi-cultural context

Tildelt: kr 2,1 mill.

The aim of this study is to determine and model how mental health and mental disorders among young immigrants are influenced by their attachment patterns (quality of relationships with parents). This will be modeled as the interaction between attachment p atterns, ethnicity, family stress, social and economic context and acculturation (adaptation to being part of two cultures). It is expected that effects of the interaction between these variables on mental health differs between ethnical groups. This stu dy includes children (total n = 550, 350 immigrant and 200 Norwegian) aged 9-11, and their parents (total n = 1100). The children are interviewed with the Child Attachment Interview (Target, et al., 2003), and assessed with measures on mental health and m ental problems, life stressors, resources, and acculturation. Their parents are screened for mental health problems, life stressors, resources, and interviewed about migration history. The central research challenges in this project are to adapt both the oretical understanding of attachment, and the methods for assessing these, to a multi-cultural context. The results are expected to be crucial for clinicians about how to able adapt interventions when working with relationships and family systems in immi grant families, and to determine whether future studies of preventive interventions should primarily address individual differences in close relationships, ethnicity, familial, social or economic context both to promote mental health and to prevent mental disorder. This doctorate project is an integrated part of The Multi-Cultural Risk and Resilience Study of Bergen and Oslo (MCRRS-BO), at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Department of Mental Health, Division of Epidemiology. The MCRRS-BO is an extension of an ongoing psychiatric epidemiological longitudinal study, Bergen Child Study.



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