Study of Adolescent Lives after Migration (SALaM) Ireland
Since 2015, the world has witnessed the worst refugee crisis with unprecedented numbers seeking refuge across the globe. Over half of the world’s refugees are children.
The ‘SALaM Ireland’ study is a collaborative school-based project being conducted as part of a larger programme of research called ‘SALaMA’ (Study of Adolescent Lives after Migration to America), which is led by Washington University, St Louis (USA) (Principal Investigator, Professor Lindsay Stark) in partnership with Qatar Foundation International (QFI) (https://www.qfi.org/opportunities/salama-study/).
The SALaM Ireland study is led by Professor Sinead McGilloway (MU) with senior co-investigators, Dr Rita Sakr (MU Department of English) and Dr Anthony Malone (MU Department of Education). All SALaM Ireland team members are listed below.
To assess the mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of post-primary school students (aged 13-18 years) resettled to Ireland from Arab-majority countries
To identify and explore the sources of daily stress in these students’ lives and the corresponding support mechanisms available to them.
What will the research involve?
This is a large mixed methods study, being undertaken in the US and Ireland and involving: (a) a series of national surveys in which we assess student health and wellbeing, as well as their experiences at school, home and the wider community; (b) focus group discussions with students; and (c) interviews with key stakeholders (e.g. parents/guardians, educators, mental health professionals, resettlement agencies and community organisations) to explore how they are supporting these students and trying to meet their health and wellbeing needs.
Impact of the research
This ambitious programme of research will generate one of the first and most extensive data sets on the wellbeing of Arabic-speaking newcomer students – a growing subgroup in high-income countries. This is also the first study of its kind to investigate the mental health and wellbeing of young Arab-speaking immigrants.
The study findings will provide important insights into the experiences and needs of these young people and the nature and extent of any stress which they may be experiencing in their daily lives, both in school and the wider community. The study will also illuminate ways in which schools and communities support these students as they adapt to life outside their country of origin. Collectively, the results will help to inform practices and policies to better support this population in America, Ireland and possibly elsewhere in the world.
The SALaM Ireland Project Team
The team comprises an interdisciplinary mix of academics with expertise and research interests in mental health, community and health psychology, migrant and refugee health and wellbeing, migrant and refugee literature and film (including Arab literature), education and anthropology.
The Washington University (St Louis) SALaMA Team
(2020, December). Crusade Against Covid. The Bridge Maynooth Alumni Magazine 2020, pp. 8. Retrieved from: https://issuu.com/maynoothuniversity/docs/maynooth_alumni_magazine_-_the_bridge_2020.
Stark, L., Robinson, M. Seff, I., Hassan, W., Allaf, C. (2020). Salama Study Protocol: A Mixed Methods Study to Explore Mental Health and Psychosocial Support for Conflict-affected Youth in Detroit, Michigan. BMC Public Health, 20(1):38.
Stark, L., Seff, I., Cohen, F., Aldrich, J., & Allaf, C. (2020). Stressful life events and their unique associations with psychosocial outcomes: A gendered analysis among high school adolescents. Global Social Welfare, online first.
Bennouna, C., Ocampo, M., Cohen, F., Basir, M., Allaf, C., Wessells, M., & Stark, L. (2019). Ecologies of care: Mental health and psychosocial support for war-affected youth in the U.S. Conflict and Health, 13(1):47.
Bennouna, C., Basir, M., Khauli, N., Allaf, C., Wessells, M., & Stark, L. (2019). School-based programs for supporting the mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of conflict-affected adolescents resettled in high-income countries: A scoping review. Social Science & Medicine, 239.
Gialama, M. and McGilloway, S. (2019). Building psychological resilience and promoting post-traumatic growth in refugee children post-migration: A practitioner perspective. Annual Conference of the British Psychological Society (NI Branch): Building Better Psychological Futures, Belfast (p.19)