Maria Marti Castaner

Maria Marti Castaner

Assistant Professor

Primary fields of research

My research is at the intersection of developmental and clinical psychology, public health, and implementation science. My main research interest lies in understanding individual and family determinants of mental health and development of children from disadvantaged backgrounds, and the translation of these findings into effective community-based interventions to promote resilience and well-being among children and their families.

I am trained as a Clinical Psychologist. In 2013 I completed a research fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at Columbia University.  In November 2015, I completed my PhD in Health Psychology from Universitat Aurtonoma de Barcelona and started a a postdoc at the Mailman School of Public health (Columbia University) developing and evaluating early childhood interventions aimed to foster secure parent-child relationships and healthy developmental trajectories in children. More recently, my work has focused on studding sources of risk and resiliency that contribute to post-migration mental health in young immigrants and its implications for their offspring.

Current research

In September 2019, I took a postdoc position within the Research Center for Migration, Ethnicity, and Health Studies (MESU), at the Health Services section at the University of Copenhagen. In my postdoctoral research, I take a mixed methods approach to understand and reduce inequalities in perinatal mental health between refugee and non-refugee women. Using register based data I investigate the prevalence and risk factors associated with perinatal mental health disorders among refugee women living in Denmark. I also draw in qualitative research methods to understand how home visiting programs can serve to identify and support the mental health needs of refugee women in the perinatal period and support them to build positive parent-child relationships.

Since 2020, I have been leading REFUDEPRE (funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 897159) in collaboration with Professor Marie Nørredam and Sarah Fredsted Villadsen. Building on the analysis of the Danish Child Health Database (CHD), and qualitative interviews with refugee and health nurses participating in Sundhedsplejersker Styrker integration, the enhanced Danish home visiting program for refugee families, we have investigated the burden of postpartum mental health problems on refuge women and their offspring and shed light on the role of nurse home visiting programs to support the psychosocial wellbeing and mental health of refugee women after giving birth. Results are expected to be published by the end of 2022, early 2023.

ID: 226567037