Supporting Muslim refugee youth during displacement: Implications for international school psychologists

Diana Maria Diaków, Anisa Naomi Goforth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


School psychologists around the world have an important role in advocating for refugee youth, including Muslim refugees who experience increased risk for mental health issues due to discrimination. There are few studies, however, that have examined the resiliency factors that impact Muslim refugee youth’s well-being. This qualitative research study investigated these factors through the voices of humanitarian workers who are the primary source of support for these youth during displacement. Humanitarian workers (N = 28) were recruited using snowball sampling through organizations that serve refugee youth and families during displacement. Using a recursive thematic process, we identified four main themes associated with risk factors: (1) gender norm expectations, (2) challenges in help-seeking, (3) unsafe climate and limited resources, and (4) challenges in collaborating with family. We also identified two main themes of protective factors: (1) faith and culture, and (2) family, peer, and community connections. We discussed these themes in the context of school psychological practice and provided specific recommendations for international school psychologists who support Muslim refugee students.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-258
Number of pages21
JournalSchool Psychology International
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Muslim youth
  • Refugees
  • culturally-responsive practices
  • forced displacement
  • humanitarian workers
  • resilience
  • risk and protective factors


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