CFP: Research Initiative on Young Children in Refugee Families

Call for Papers: Research Initiative on Young Children in Refugee Families

Submission deadline: May 30, 2014

The Migration Policy Institute’s (MPI) National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy is launching an interdisciplinary research initiative to examine the circumstances and well-being of young children in refugee families. While young children account for about one-fifth of U.S. refugee arrivals each year and many U.S.-born children live with refugee parents, research on refugees in the United States has largely focused on adults and their access to employment and social services. Less is known about the children of refugees and the risk and protective factors that promote their healthy development and academic success. The goal of the MPI research initiative is to encourage and support research on young children (birth to age 10) who are themselves refugees or who are the U.S.-born children of resettled refugee parents (i.e., the second generation).

As part of this work, MPI is soliciting papers by both established and young scholars working in forced migration, child development, education, public health, demography, sociology, psychology, psychiatry, anthropology, economics, public policy, and other relevant fields. Papers documenting how these children are faring in the United States are welcomed, as are those offering comparisons between young children of refugees in the United States and other countries of resettlement, and those that shed light on the pre-resettlement experiences of first-generation refugee children resettled in the United States.

Support for this project has been provided by the Foundation for Child Development (FCD).

Paper Topics

The project’s broad areas of inquiry include, but are not limited to, the topics below. Suggestions for other topics are welcomed and encouraged.

  • The living circumstances and well-being of young children of refugees, including family structure, housing conditions, caretaker human capital and employment, family income and poverty, and food security.
  • Geographic patterns of resettlement, including geographic isolation/concentration, residential segregation, secondary migration from initial resettlement locations, quality of early care and education as well as elementary education in receiving communities, and availability of health and social services.
  • Physical, mental, and behavioral health outcomes for young children in refugee families, refugees’ children with disabilities, physical and mental health of parents and other members of the extended family as they relate to caretaking, child health insurance coverage, health-care utilization, and utilization of mental health services.
  • Cognitive and socioemotional development of young children of refugees, their experiences in early care and education, preparation for school, and early experiences as well as achievement in school.
  • Educational progress and, for English Language Learners (ELLs), language acquisition and maintenance of home language.
  • Examination of the capacity, effectiveness, and changing roles of refugee resettlement agencies and other public and private institutions that integrate refugees and their children.
  • Climate of reception for refugee families, including discrimination, perceived discrimination, and their effects on identify formation and child/family well-being.
  • Evaluations of programs and interventions for young children of refugees, including programs specifically for refugees and their children and programs serving children of refugees as well as other children.
  • Studies of children in refugee families in the United States as compared to other countries of resettlement.
  • Predeparture living circumstances and experiences of refugee children later resettled in the United States, including access to formal education, health services, refugee camp experiences, and trauma exposure.

In all topic areas, papers that draw on data obtained through quantitative or qualitative methods with a national, local, or international comparative focus are welcomed.

Research Symposium and Publication

Selected papers will be presented at an interdisciplinary research symposium for scholars of this topic, hosted by MPI and FCD in November or December 2014, and subsequently widely disseminated as MPI publications. Authors will be expected to work with MPI staff both before and after the symposium to edit and finalize papers for publication.

Timeframe for Paper Proposals

All submissions must be made by May 30, 2014, with final drafts of selected papers due in September 2014.

Submission Guidelines

Please submit the following:

  • Preliminary title
  • Abstract up to 500 words
  • Brief description of data sources (qualitative or quantitative)
  • Brief description of population studied (age range, country of origin, and receiving country) and, if applicable, any comparison populations
  • Current CV or brief biography indicating any current affiliations for each author*

*Papers with multiple authors will be considered.

Honorarium: An honorarium of $2,000 will be offered for completed papers presented at the symposium.

Submit paper proposals and any questions electronically to:
Kristen McCabe
Migration Policy Institute