Research Topic

Mental Health and Well-Being among African Children: Implications of Western Approaches to Counseling and Treatment

About this Research Topic

The purpose of this Research Topic is to enhance our knowledge of the culturally unique experiences of children growing up in African nations, and of the importance of adapting psycho-therapeutic interventions in ways that respect and build upon those inherent strengths. The collection of peer-reviewed articles will begin with an overview of the primary mental health issues facing African children: what are they, how prevalent are they in countries where epidemiological data are available, and what are the most common (and most effective) treatment approaches?

Within this context, the following sub-topics are suggested:
1. How are the psychological needs of children with disabilities being addressed in African countries? This section could include research, programs, and educational supports related to physical disabilities, sensory impairments, and psychological diagnoses (ADHD, ASD, Anxiety/Depression, etc.). How do programs for these children work effectively despite few resources, large demand for services, and lack of formal training for staff? What is needed to provide better training for personnel working with these children in African nations?

2. Mindfulness practices: In the industrialized world, psychotherapists are increasingly integrating meditative practices into clinical work, building upon research demonstrating that present-moment awareness is important to healing and well-being. However, neither research nor clinical practice has focused on integrating such awareness into daily life or therapeutic interventions in the context of African childhood. The proposed Research Topic would provide an outlet for African researchers to study this theme in relation to effective counseling with children in their countries.

3. Are there unique cultural values and strengths in African families that can be emphasized or tapped into for more effective interventions with children — e.g., character development, commitment to collective society, determination, self-regulation? How are these being recognized in therapeutic settings so that interventions value and respect the African child’s inherent strengths?

4. Returning immigrant children (those who have been sent to other countries to work for wealthy families, ending up being abused or taken advantage by their employers): What are the main concerns related to trauma, child trafficking, and re-integration if they return to their families and communities?

5. What are the primary psychological needs of children in resettlement camps prior to leaving their native countries, and how do these vary according to the child’s age, family constellation, educational needs, and physical health?

6. Gender disparities are evident in many African countries, with girls often having less access to education, fewer opportunities for career training, and bearing the impact of early marriage/pregnancies. What are some effective models for counseling young girls who are suffering negative consequences of these practices, and are there examples in which western-based programs are being implemented in sensitive and successful ways that also respect African girls’ cultural backgrounds?

DETAILS FOR AUTHORS:
We welcome authors to submit manuscripts reporting empirical research, innovative programs, effective training models, and policy recommendations related to these topics. Review papers, case reports, opinion pieces and book reviews will also be considered.


Keywords: African childhood, Mental health, Counseling African children, Applications of Western approaches


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The purpose of this Research Topic is to enhance our knowledge of the culturally unique experiences of children growing up in African nations, and of the importance of adapting psycho-therapeutic interventions in ways that respect and build upon those inherent strengths. The collection of peer-reviewed articles will begin with an overview of the primary mental health issues facing African children: what are they, how prevalent are they in countries where epidemiological data are available, and what are the most common (and most effective) treatment approaches?

Within this context, the following sub-topics are suggested:
1. How are the psychological needs of children with disabilities being addressed in African countries? This section could include research, programs, and educational supports related to physical disabilities, sensory impairments, and psychological diagnoses (ADHD, ASD, Anxiety/Depression, etc.). How do programs for these children work effectively despite few resources, large demand for services, and lack of formal training for staff? What is needed to provide better training for personnel working with these children in African nations?

2. Mindfulness practices: In the industrialized world, psychotherapists are increasingly integrating meditative practices into clinical work, building upon research demonstrating that present-moment awareness is important to healing and well-being. However, neither research nor clinical practice has focused on integrating such awareness into daily life or therapeutic interventions in the context of African childhood. The proposed Research Topic would provide an outlet for African researchers to study this theme in relation to effective counseling with children in their countries.

3. Are there unique cultural values and strengths in African families that can be emphasized or tapped into for more effective interventions with children — e.g., character development, commitment to collective society, determination, self-regulation? How are these being recognized in therapeutic settings so that interventions value and respect the African child’s inherent strengths?

4. Returning immigrant children (those who have been sent to other countries to work for wealthy families, ending up being abused or taken advantage by their employers): What are the main concerns related to trauma, child trafficking, and re-integration if they return to their families and communities?

5. What are the primary psychological needs of children in resettlement camps prior to leaving their native countries, and how do these vary according to the child’s age, family constellation, educational needs, and physical health?

6. Gender disparities are evident in many African countries, with girls often having less access to education, fewer opportunities for career training, and bearing the impact of early marriage/pregnancies. What are some effective models for counseling young girls who are suffering negative consequences of these practices, and are there examples in which western-based programs are being implemented in sensitive and successful ways that also respect African girls’ cultural backgrounds?

DETAILS FOR AUTHORS:
We welcome authors to submit manuscripts reporting empirical research, innovative programs, effective training models, and policy recommendations related to these topics. Review papers, case reports, opinion pieces and book reviews will also be considered.


Keywords: African childhood, Mental health, Counseling African children, Applications of Western approaches


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

15 June 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

15 June 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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