Current Environment:


Immigrant groups today are experiencing unprecedented levels of discrimination and marginalization. For Somali young adults, these experiences may be linked to their race, religion, ethnicity, or migration status. Some of these experiences are linked to violence.

Since the early 2000s, researchers at the Trauma and Community Resilience Center (formerly the Refugee Trauma and Resilience Center) at Boston Children’s Hospital have engaged in a collaborative partnership to conduct the Somali Youth Longitudinal Study. Initially focused on addressing concerns in the Somali community around youth violence, the study has broadened to adopt a life-course perspective in order to examine experiences of discrimination, risk, and resilience factors, and their relationship to health outcomes.

Our ultimate goal continues to be working with community partners, our greatest assets, to identify community resources that can help strengthen social bonds and build capacity, allowing community members themselves to become knowledgeable, skillful, and respected partners in addressing the challenges of discrimination and marginalization associated with race, religion, and immigration status. We completed our fourth wave of data collection in 2019.

Meet the team


  • Heidi Ellis, PhD (Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School)
  • Saida Abdi (University of Minnesota)
  • John Horgan (UMass Lowell)
  • Alisa Lincoln (Northeastern University)
  • Jessica Stern (Harvard School of Public Health)

Find out more

For additional information, please contact the Trauma and Community Resilience Center:

Trauma and Community Resilience Center
Boston Children’s Hospital
21 Autumn St., 1st Floor
Boston, MA 02115

Email address:
Phone number: 617-919-4630