Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Print publication year: 2014
  • Online publication date: March 2014

Chapter 21 - Children’s services

from Section 4 - Systems of development for special populations


Several studies conducted in many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) have contributed to the body of knowledge on the root causes of poor availability of the mental health workforce. The emigration of mental health professionals from countries of low and middle income, along with rural-to- urban migration, constrains development of human resources for mental health. Current interventions to improve mental health education among health workers include training primary healthcare workers. Newer models of mental health care involve delegating tasks to existing or new cadres with either less training or narrowly focused training to increase access to lower-cost services. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have been instrumental in mental health research and program development. One of the most critical processes in improvement and restructuring of a mental health workforce is strategy development. The strategies should be formulated to address the different needs of specific population groups.

Related content

Powered by UNSILO


AneshenselCS, SucoffCA (1996) The neighborhood context of adolescent mental health. Journal of Health and Social Behavior 37: 293–310.
BaileyJA, HillKG, OesterleS, et al. (2009) Parenting practices and problem behavior across three generations: Monitoring, harsh discipline, and drug use in the intergenerational transmission of externalizing behavior. Developmental Psychology 45: 1214–26.
BeiserM, ZilberN, SimichL, et al. (2011) Regional effects on the mental health of immigrant children: results from the new Canadian Children and Youth Study (NCCYS). Health and Place 17: 822–9.
BermanSL, KurtinesWM, SilvermanWK, et al. (1996) The impact of exposure to crime and violence of urban youth. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 66: 329–36.
BetancourtTS, BrennanRT, Rubin-SmithJ, et al. (2010a) Sierra Leone’s former child soldiers: a longitudinal study of risk, protective factors, and mental health. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 49: 606–15.
BetancourtTS, FawziMKS, BruderleinC, et al. (2010b) Children affected by HIV/AIDS: SAFE, a model for promoting their security, health, and development. Psychology, Health and Medicine 15: 243–65.
BetancourtTS, Rubin-SmithJ, BeardsleeWR, et al. (2011) Understanding locally, culturally, and contextually relevant mental health problems among Rwandan children and adolescents affected by HIV/AIDS. AIDS Care 23: 401–12.
BonannoGA, ManciniAD (2008) The human capacity to thrive in the face of potential trauma. Pediatrics 121: 369–75.
BonhauserM, FernandezG, KlauseP, et al. (2005) Improving physical fitness and emotional well-being in adolescents of low socioeconomic status in Chile: results of a school-based controlled trial. Health Promotion International 20: 113–22.
BrethertonI (1997) Bowlby’s legacy to developmental psychology. Child Psychiatry and Human Development 28: 33–41.
CaninoG, AlegríaM (2008) Psychiatric diagnosis – Is it universal or relative to culture?Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 49: 237–50.
CrewsSD, BenderH, CookCR, et al. (2007) Risk and protective factors for emotional and/or behavioral disorders in children and adolescents: a mega-analytic synthesis. Behavioral Disorders 32: 64–77.
DodgeKA, PriceJM (1994) On the relation between social information: Processing and socially competent behavior in early school-aged children. Child Development 65: 1385–97.
DomitrovichCE, Greenberg, MT (2000) The study of implementation: current findings from effective programs that prevent mental disorders in school-aged children. Journal of Educational and Psychological Consultation 11: 193–211.
DybdahlR (2001) Children and mothers in war: an outcome study of a psychosocial intervention program. Child Development 72: 1214–30.
EdwardsVJ, HoldenGW, FelittiVJ, AndaRF (2003) Relationship between multiple forms of childhood maltreatment and adult mental health in community respondents: Results from the adverse childhood experiences study. American Journal of Psychiatry 160: 1453–60.
FawziMCS, BetancourtTS, MarcelinL, et al. (2009) Depression and post-traumatic stress disorder among Haitian immigrant students: Implications for access to meantla health services and educational programming. BMC Public Health 9: 482.
GarnefskiN, RieffeC, JellesmaF, et al. (2007) Cognitive emotion regulation strategies and emotional problems in 9–11-year-old children. European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 16: 1–9.
GladstoneM, LancasterG, UmarE, et al. (2010) Perspectives of normal child development in rural Malawi: a qualitative analysis to create a more culturally appropriate developmental assessment tool. Child: Care, Health and Development 36: 346–53.
Grantham-McGregorS, CheungYB, CuetoSet al. (2007) Developmental potential in the first 5 years for children in developing countries. Lancet 369: 60–70.
GreenH, McGinnityA, MeltzerH, et al. (2005) Mental Health of Children and Young People. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
GreenJG, McLaughlinKA, BerglundP, et al. (2010) Childhood adversities and adult psychopathology in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R) I: Associations with first onset of DSM-IV disorders. Archives of General Psychiatry 62: 113–23.
GruebnerO, KhanMMH, LautenbachS, et al. (2012) Mental health in the slums of Dhaka: a geoepidemiological study. BMC Public Health 12: 177.
HerrenkohlTI, HillKG, HawkinsJD, et al. (2006) Developmental trajectories of family management and risk for violent behavior in adolescence. Journal of Adolescent Health 39: 206–13.
HoagwoodKE, OlinSS, KerkerBD, et al. (2007) Empirically based school interventions targeted at academic and mental health functioning. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders 15: 66–92.
JaffeeSR, CaspiA, MoffittTE, et al. (2007) Individual, family, and neighborhood factors distinguish resilient from non-resilient maltreated children: A cumulative stressors model. Child Abuse and Neglect 31: 231–3.
Jané-LlopisE, MuñozR, PatelV (2004) Prevention of depression and depressive symptomatology. In C Hosman, E Jané-Llopis, S Saxena, eds., Prevention of Mental Disorders: Effective Interventions and Policy Options. Geneva: WHO.
JordansMJD, TolWA, KomproeIH, et al. (2009) Systematic review of evidence and treatment approaches: Psychosocial and mental health care for children in war. Child and Adolescent Mental Health 14: 2–14.
KesslerRC, DavisCG, KendlerKS (1997) Childhood adversity and adult psychiatric disorder in the US National Comorbidity Survey. Psychological Medicine 27: 1101–19.
KielingC, Baker-HenninghamH, BelferM, et al. (2011) Child and adolescent mental health worldwide: Evidence for action. Lancet 378: 1515–25.
KlasenH, CrombagAC (2013) What works where? A systematic review of child and adolescent mental health interventions for low and middle income countries. Social Psychiatry and Pscyhiatric Epidemiology 48: 595–611.
KumakechE, Cantor-GraaeE, MalingS, et al. (2009) Peer-groups support intervention improves the psychosocial well-being of AIDS orphans: Cluster randomized trial. Social Science and Medicine 68: 1038–43.
LaddGW, CairnsE (1996) Children: ethnic and political violence. Child Development 67: 14–18.
LiddellC, McConvilleC (1994) Starting at the bottom: towards the development of an indigenous school-readiness program for South African children being reared at home. Early Child Development and Care 97: 1–15.
LoY (2010) The impact of the acculturation process on Asian American youth’s psychological well-being. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing 23: 84–91.
LubyJL, HeffelfingerA, MeaselleJR, et al. (2002) Differential performance of the MacArthur HBQ and DISC-IV in identifying DSM-IV internalizing psychopathology in young children. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 41: 458–66.
MarfoK, PenceA, LeVineRA, et al. (2011) Strengthening Africa’s contributions to child development research: Introduction. Child Development Perspectives 5: 104–11.
McLaughlinKA, GreenJG, AlegríaM, et al. (2012) Food insecurity and mental disorders in a national sample of U.S. adolescents. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 51: 1293–303.
MerikangasKR, HeJ, BursteinM, et al. (2010) Lifetime prevalence of mental disorders in U.S. adolescents: Results from the National Comorbidity Study-Adolescent supplement (NCS-A). Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 49: 980–9.
MikulincerM, ShaverPR (2012) An attachment perspective on psychopathology. World Psychiatry 11: 11–15.
MisharaBL, YstgaardM (2006) Effectiveness of a mental health promotion program to improve coping skills in young children: Zippy’s Friends. Early Childhood Research Quarterly 21: 110–23.
MurrayCJ, LopezAD (1997) Global mortality, disability, and the contribution of risk factors. Global burden of disease study. Lancet 349: 1436–42.
MwauraPAM, MarfoK (2011) Bridging culture, research, and practice in early childhood development: the Madrasa resource centers in East Africa. Child Development Perspectives 5: 134–9.
OgbuJU (1988) Cultural diversity and human development. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development 42: 11–28.
OkamotoY, CaseR, BleikerC, et al. (1996) Cross-cultural investigations. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development 61: 131–55.
OmigbodunO (2008) Developing child mental health services in resource-poor countries. International Review of Psychiatry 20: 225–35.
PatelV (2001) Is depression a disease of poverty?Regional Health Forum, WHO South-East Asia Region 5(1): 14–23.
PatelV, FlisherAJ, HetrickS, et al. (2007) Mental health of young people: a global public-health challenge. Lancet 369: 1302–13.
PatelV, FlisherAJ, NikapotaA, et al. (2008) Promoting child and adolescent mental health in low and middle income countries. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 49: 313–34.
PunamäkiRL, QoutaS, El-SarrajE (2001) Resiliency factors predicting psychological adjustment after political violence among Palestinian children. International Journal of Behavioral Development 25: 256–67.
RavallionM, ChenS, SangraulaP (2008) Dollar a Day Revisited. World Bank Policy Research Working Paper WPS 4620.
RutterM (2009) Understanding and testing risk mechanisms for mental disorders. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 50: 44–52.
SagiA, LambME, LewkowiczKS, et al. (1985) Security of infant–mother–father, and metapelet attachments among kibbutz-reared Israeli children. Monographs of the society for research in child development. Growing Points of Attachment Theory and Research 50: 257–75.
SaxenaS, ParajeG, SharanP, KaramG, SadanaR (2006) The 10/90 divide in mental health research: trends over a 10 year period. British Journal of Psychiatry 188: 81–2.
ShenACT (2009) Long-term effects of interparental violence and child physical maltreatment experiences on PTSD and behavior problems: a national survey of Taiwanese college students. Child Abuse and Neglect 33: 148–60.
SmokowskiP, BuchmanRL, BacallaoML (2009) Acculturation of adjustment in Latino adolescents: How cultural risk factors and assets influence multiple domains of adolescent mental health. Journal of Primary Prevention 30: 371–93.
SuperCM, HarknessS (2009) The Developmental Niche of the Newborn in Rural Kenya. New York, NY: Wiley.
SurkanP, KennedyC, HurleyK, et al. (2011) Maternal depression and early childhood growth in developing countries: Systemic review and meta-analysis. Bulletin of the World Health Organization 89: 608–15.
TolWA, KomproeIH, SusantyD, et al. (2008) School-based mental health intervention for children affected by political violence in Indonesia. JAMA 300: 655–62.
TolWA, KomproeIH, JordansMJD, et al. (2010) Mediators and moderators of a psychosocial intervention for children affected by political violence. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 78: 818–28.
TrueMM, PisaniL, OumarF (2001) Infant–mother attachment among the Dogon of Mali. Child Development 72: 1451–66.
Unicef (2008) The State of the World’s Children 2008. New York, NY: Unicef.
WalkerS, ChangSM, PowellCA, et al. (2006) Effects of psychosocial stimulation and dietary supplementation in early childhood on psychosocial functioning in late adolescence: follow-up of randomized controlled trial. BMJ 333: 472.
WeisnerTS (1996) Why Ethnography Should be the Most Important Method in the Study of Human Development. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Women’s Refugee Commission (2012) Children and youth: ensuring opportunities for displaced youth. (accessed July 2013).
World Health Organization (2005) Atlas: Child and Adolescent Mental Health Resources. Global Concerns, Implications for the Future. Geneva: WHO.
YehCJ (2003) Age, acculturation, cultural adjustment and mental health symptoms of Chinese, Korean, and Japanese immigrant youths. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology 9: 34–48.
ZayasLH, SolariF (1994) Early childhood socialization in Hispanic families: Culture, context, and practice implications. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice 25: 200–6.
ZivY, AviezerO, GiniM, SagiA, Koren-KarieN (2000) Emotional availability in the mother–infant dyad as related to the quality of infant–mother attachment relationship. Attachment and Human Development 2: 149–69.