Sep 4, 2020
A Framework to Understand the Mental Health Effects of Crisis Migration on Children and Families Caused by Disasters
Published in: New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development (2021). doi: 10.1002/cad.20397
Posted on RAND.org on March 02, 2021
Crisis migration refers to displacement of large numbers of individuals and families from their home countries due to wars, dictatorial governments, and other critical hazards (e.g., hurricanes). Although crisis migration can adversely influence direct and indirect effects on the mental health of adults and their children collectively as families, there is a deficiency in theory that addresses family level processes in this crisis migration context. We propose the Family Crisis Migration Stress Framework, which consolidates what is known about the multiple factors affecting mental health outcomes of crisis migrants into one cohesive model. In our article, we synthesize relevant theories and models of disaster, migration, and family resilience in order to create a framework in which to organize the complex processes that occur within families as a result of migration and that affect the mental health of children. We include examples from various national settings to illustrate the tenets of our framework. Future policy and intervention for crisis migrant should focus on the family as a unit, instead of parents and children as individual entities.