Children and young people’s mental health in the English-speaking Caribbean: a scoping review and evidence map

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Internationally, there is a wealth of research suggesting that many children and young people experience mental health problems. However, the evidence from low- and middleincome countries and developing nations are generally limited. This scoping review aimed to add to the body of evidence by providing an overview of the available research literature on children and young people’s (CYP’s) mental health in the English-speaking Caribbean region. Seven key online academic databases and grey literature sources were searched until January 2021. Records were screened against predefined criteria and suitable articles were retrieved. Relevant information was then charted and summarized. All stages of the review were informed by expert consultations. Ninety-six articles from 7901 records met the inclusion criteria. Most of the studies were conducted in Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados while fewer studies reported findings from St Lucia, Bahamas and St Kitts and Nevis. Research funding was not frequently reported, and participants were predominantly recruited in education settings. There was a substantial focus on depressive symptoms and behaviour problems. Little or no research was available for younger children (<12), complex clinical cases or commonly under-represented groups. Four unique interventions were
identified of which one intervention showed no significant CYP outcomes. Among the commonly used outcome measures only the Jamaican Youth Checklist (teacher-reported), Beck Depression Inventory-II, Brief Screen for Depression, Trinidad and Tobago Youth Survey and Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory had evidence for psychometric validity within this population. We discussed future directions, implications and recommendations for research, practice, policy and training.
Original languageEnglish
Article number82
JournalChild and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health
Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 2021


  • child
  • adolescent
  • young adult
  • mental health
  • Caribbean region
  • minority groups

Research Centres

  • Research Centre for Arts and Wellbeing


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