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Theresa Stichick Betancourt, ScD, MA

Research Fellow in Psychiatry
Department of Global Health and Social Medicine Affiliate

Theresa S. Betancourt, ScD, MA, is the Salem Professor in Global Practice at the Boston College School of Social Work and Director of the Research Program on Children and Adversity (RPCA). Her central research interests include the developmental and psychosocial consequences of concentrated adversity on children, youth and families; resilience and protective processes in child and adolescent mental health and child development; refugee families; and applied cross-cultural mental health research. She is Principal Investigator of an intergenerational study of war in Sierra Leone (LSWAY). This research led to the development of a group mental health intervention for war-affected youth that demonstrated effectiveness for improving emotion regulation, daily functioning and school functioning. This intervention, the Youth Readiness Intervention (YRI), is now at the core of a scale-up study within youth employment programs now underway in collaboration with the major development actors and Government of Sierra Leone as a part of the NIMH-funded Mental Health Services and Implementation Science Research Hub called Youth FORWARD. Dr. Betancourt has also developed and evaluated the impact of a Family Strengthening Intervention for HIV-affected children and families and is leading the investigation of a home-visiting early childhood development (ECD) intervention to promote enriched parent-child relationships and prevent violence that can be integrated within poverty reduction/social protection initiatives in Rwanda. Domestically, she is engaged in community-based participatory research on family-based prevention of emotional and behavioral problems in refugee children and adolescents resettled in the U.S. She has written extensively on mental health and resilience in children facing adversity including recent articles in Child DevelopmentThe Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent PsychiatrySocial Science and Medicine, JAMA Psychiatry, Pediatrics, the American Journal of Public Health and PLOS One. Her work has been profiled in the New Yorker, National Geographic, NPR, and in an interview with Larry King on the programPoliticKing.

Advancing sustainable implementation of an evidence-based mental health intervention in Sierra Leone's schools: protocol for a hybrid type 3 implementation-effectiveness trial.
Authors: Authors: Desrosiers A, Carrol B, Ritsema H, Higgins W, Momoh F, Betancourt TS.
BMC Public Health
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The adaptation of a youth mental health intervention to a peer-delivery model utilizing CBPR methods and the ADAPT-ITT framework in Sierra Leone.
Authors: Authors: Freeman JA, Desrosiers A, Schafer C, Kamara P, Farrar J, Akinsulure-Smith AM, Betancourt TS.
Transcult Psychiatry
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Integrating Youth Readiness Intervention and Entrepreneurship in Sierra Leone: A Hybrid Type II Cluster Randomized Trial.
Authors: Authors: Freeman JA, Farrar JC, Placencio-Castro M, Desrosiers A, Brennan RT, Hansen NB, Akinsulure-Smith AM, Su S, Bangura J, Betancourt TS.
J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry
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Promoting positive development among refugee adolescents.
Authors: Authors: Abdi S, Akinsulure-Smith AM, Sarkadi A, Fazel M, Ellis BH, Gillespie S, Juang LP, Betancourt TS.
J Res Adolesc
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A Tale of Two Programs for Parents of Young Children: Independently-Conducted Case Studies of Workforce Contributions to Scale in Bhutan and Rwanda.
Authors: Authors: Aboud F, Choden K, Tusiimi M, Gomez RC, Hatch R, Dang S, Betancourt T, Dyenka K, Umulisa G, Omoeva C.
Children (Basel)
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Ebola Virus Disease Sensitization: Community-Driven Efforts in Sierra Leone.
Authors: Authors: Collier KM, Klein EK, Sevalie S, Molleh B, Kabba Y, Kargbo A, Bangura J, Gbettu H, Simms S, O'Leary C, Drury S, Schieffelin JS, Betancourt TS, Crea TM.
J Community Health
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Adverse childhood experiences and lifelong health.
Authors: Authors: Bhutta ZA, Bhavnani S, Betancourt TS, Tomlinson M, Patel V.
Nat Med
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Mental health and psychosocial support in humanitarian settings: research priorities for 2021-30.
Authors: Authors: Tol WA, Le PD, Harrison SL, Galappatti A, Annan J, Baingana FK, Betancourt TS, Bizouerne C, Eaton J, Engels M, Hijazi Z, Horn RR, Jordans MJD, Kohrt BA, Koyiet P, Panter-Brick C, Pluess M, Rahman A, Silove D, Tomlinson M, Uribe-Restrepo JM, Ventevogel P, Weissbecker I, Ager A, van Ommeren M.
Lancet Glob Health
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Navigating the Tension between Fatherhood Ideals and Realities of a Post-Conflict Setting: A Phenomenological Study of Former Child Soldiers in Sierra Leone.
Authors: Authors: Klein EK, Bond L, McLean KE, Feika M, Bah AJ, Betancourt TS.
SSM Qual Res Health
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Family Violence Reduction Within a Parenting Intervention in Rwanda: A Mixed-Methods Study.
Authors: Authors: Jensen SKG, Murray SM, Placencio-Castro M, Kajani U, Amponsah D, Sezibera V, Betancourt TS.
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