The present study evaluated a brief crisis intervention protocol based on the rationale of the Psychological First Aid model, with a unique and underrepresented population of 99 children aged 4.5-7.5 of illegal migrant workers in Israel threatened with impending deportation. The repeated-measures design included completion of a set of self-report and experimenter rating measures in a pretest and posttest for all children who were allocated to either the clinical treatment or control group. The first hypothesis predicting a greater improvement in the treatment as opposed to the control group between the pretest and posttest on the psychiatric Berkeley Puppet Interview was confirmed only for the Anxiety-Depression and Social Acceptance subscales and not for the Aggression subscale. The second hypothesis predicting a greater improvement in the treatment as opposed to the control group between the pretest and posttest on the experimenters' ratings was confirmed only for anxiety and heightened psychomotor activity and not for depression and aggressive communication. The third hypothesis predicting more coping strategies in the treatment than the control group at the posttest was confirmed. This study stresses the need for professional intervention and reinforces the use of this treatment model based on Psychological First Aid principles with vulnerable populations during crises. The research puts forward a useful treatment protocol for application in a multicultural context with children in crisis.
- Crisis intervention
- Migrant workers