Harvard Medical School
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With the steady growth in numbers of immigrant children in the United States (from 6% of the child population in 1970, to 19% in 2000, to a projected 25% in 2010; most of them Latino), there are compelling reasons to more fully understand the mental health needs of these children. Limited research has been published on this large and heterogeneous population.

The Child Immigration and Developmental Psychiatry research project is devoted to scientific inquiry in this important area of child development. These are some of our research questions:

  • What are the prevalence and clinical course of mental disorders in immigrant children? Are they different from or similar to what we know about non-immigrant children?
  • What is the role of child linguistic and neurocognitive capacities and deficits (vocabulary knowledge, auditory-verbal and visuospatial working memory) as risk and protective factors for mental disorders in immigrant children, above and beyond the role of family, immigration/acculturation and socioeconomic factors?
  • What factors are promising targets for intervention to prevent psychiatric disorders and to promote healthy minds in immigrant children?
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