How genes and environment interact to determine the mental health of refugee children
Refugee children having experienced traumatic situations are at increased risk of developing psychological disturbances. While some refugee children develop emotional and behavioural disorders (post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety or depression, for example), others exhibit remarkable resilience. This variability is linked to the complex interplay between individual traits, such as genetic factors, and characteristics of the environment. The EU-funded CARINGTrauma project will develop an innovative statistical approach to explore the complex and interactive causal relations between the various determinants of mental health across multiple domains. It will use a unique dataset from a large and recent study of Syrian refugee children and their caregivers (BIOPATH). The data includes demographic, genetic, epigenetic, neuroendocrine, social, psychological and environmental variables, allowing a comprehensive evaluation of the causal determinants of mental health of refugee children.