Urbanicity, childhood trauma and adolescent comorbid psychopathology in Brazil and Chile

President's Global Innovation Fund
Columbia Global Centers | Latin America (Rio de Janeiro)

This project aims to build capacity among Brazilian and Chilean epidemiology and child psychiatry researchers to conduct epidemiological longitudinal studies to identify potentially modifiable risk factors for the development of psychiatric co-morbidity (including substance use) from childhood to adolescence, focusing on the central role of traumatic events experienced in childhood among an urban population.

Principal Investigator

Sylvia Martens, Associate Professor of Epidemiology

The project has several aims. 

First, to establish and solidify collaboration between researchers at the affiliated institutions through scientific exchanges, courses in data analytics, and mentoring of researchers in Brazil and Chile during data collection and analysis phases of the longitudinal epidemiological pilot study.  Second, to assess, in a pilot 2-wave multistage probability sampling school-based epidemiological study of 180 children aged 12 years in two large neighborhoods in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Santiago, Chile, changes in co-morbidity among the key psychiatric disorders/symptomatology described above during the developmental shift from childhood to adolescence. 

Finally, to examine the relative influence of previous child traumatic events (events prior to age 12) on co-morbidity among DEP, ANX, CD and SUD, and to assess the extent to which these relations are mediated/moderated by ecological stressors. This is a unique opportunity to place a magnifying glass on the relation between trauma and child/adolescent psychopathology in large urban settings in Latin America.