PRP010: Academic Achievement and Psychosocial Adjustment in Refugee School-Age Children

Fariba Aghajafari, MD, PhD, MSc; Deborah Dewey, PhD; Gillian England-Mason, PhD; Nadia Barnieh; Rachel Talavlikar, MD, CCFP, cTropMed


Context: Not much is known about the adjustment of refugee children to their new schools and the effect that this has on how well they do at school and how they adjust to their new country. Studying these factors could help us to better understand the challenges that refugee children face in Canadian schools and help us develop policies that enhance a positive school experience and better long-term outcomes. Objectives: The aim of this pilot project is to examine academic achievement, psychosocial functioning and school outcomes in refugee children. Study design: Cross-sectional. Setting: Sunridge Family Medicine Teaching Center and Mosaic Refugee Clinic in Calgary, AB; medical clinics with access to nurses and physicians. Population studied: We aim to recruit 50 children aged 5-12 years who attend kindergarten or elementary school who have entered Canada within the past 1-3 years. This time frame was chosen as most of these children should have settled into a stable home and their immediate physical health needs would have been addressed by the Canadian health care system. Intervention: Each child participates in a developmental assessment including: 1) the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence ® – Fourth EditionCDN (children under 6 years)/The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children ® – Fifth Edition CDN (children 6 years and older ), 2) The Wechsler Individual Achievement Test– 3rd Edition CDN, 3) Child Education Questionnaire, 4) Kidscreen-52 – Child and Adolescent Version, a measure of quality of life, completed by children 8 years and older. Parents will be asked: 1) to provide a copy of their child's report card, and 2) to complete the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, which is an assessment of child behaviour. Outcome measures: Cognition, academic functioning and quality of life. Results: Administration of the developmental assessment are being conducted by two experienced psychometrists from the Owerko Center at the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, University of Calgary. Eleven developmental assessments (2-2.5 hours) have been conducted, to date, at the Sunridge Clinic. Participation in these assessments has not cause any distress to the child seen to date. The results of the assessments will be presented.

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Viv Ramsden 11/21/2020

Fariba, congrats. This work has the potential to change both patient care and perceptions. You are in an amazing position to do while building upon the principles identified by Dr. Mark Smith this morning. Enjoy the rest of NAPCRG.

fariba 11/23/2020

Thanks Viv. The project stopped due to COVID. Hope we can restart soon to complete the project.

Meghan Gilfoyle 11/23/2020

Hi Fariba. Very interesting poster - I look forward to following this project. Thanks, Meghan

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