Project Details

Early Career

Status: Funded - Open

Transdiagnostic group treatment for refugee and immigrant youth: An intervention study

Jeffrey Winer, PhD


BACKGROUND: Refugee youth, especially ethnic and cultural minority youth (e.g., Somali youth), present with alarmingly high rates of stress-related psychiatric illness (e.g., PTSD, depression, and anxiety) and are grossly underserved by current mental health, medical, and social services. GAP: Few empirically-based intervention models exist for refugee youth and of those that do (e.g., Trauma Systems Therapy for Refugees), are difficult to scale and disseminate. The field of child healthcare urgently needs a transdiagnostic evidence-based group intervention for ethnic and cultural minority refugee adolescents that is ultimately low cost and easy to scale and disseminate. HYPOTHESIS: Group treatment condition (as compared to pre-treatment condition) will reduce psychiatric symptoms for refugee youth who present with clinical symptoms at baseline. Group treatment condition (as compared to pre-treatment condition) will prevent clinical symptom onset for those with sub-clinical symptoms at baseline. Group treatment condition (as compared to pre-treatment condition) will enhance adaptive outcomes including cultural identity self-concept, subjective social belongingness, and psychological resilience for all youth in the study. METHODS: Participants (n = 36) will receive the 10-week active group intervention (one hour-long session per week). Three treatment groups will be run with 12 participants per group and participants’ pre-treatment data will be used as a comparison. Groups will be co-facilitated by a Non-Somali mental health clinician and a Somali cultural broker. RESULTS: Pending IMPACT: This project has the potential to establish the preliminary efficacy of a culturally-responsive transdiagnostic group psychological intervention for resettled refugee and immigrant youth currently experiencing, or at risk for stress-related psychiatric problems including PTSD, depression, and anxiety. Website Link: Refugee Trauma and Resilience Center website: Jeffrey Winer’s personal professional website: