Somali immigrants and refugees have entered the United States with increasing frequency due to civil war-induced violence and instability in their native country. The resultant increase of Somali students is of particular relevance to educators and school psychologists because Somali youth possess unique cultural backgrounds. In addition, refugee youth are at an elevated risk for mental health and academic difficulties due to their pre-immigration exposure to traumatic events and lack of formal education. In this article, we provide an overview of Somali history and culture, recent immigrant trends, and the challenges faced by Somali children and youth in the United States. Then, we describe the research on school-based supports for the academic and social-emotional needs of this population, and discuss implications for school psychological services and applied research.
- mental health
- school psychology