Main Researcher: Alejandra Caqueo-Urízar (Psychology UTA)

Psychological, biological and social factors are relevant to student development and the social system as a whole. In recent years, a specific area of research has studied the social determinants of health, defined as living conditions in the form of sociopolitical factors contributing to the health of people and populations (WHO, 2008).

These factors determine both the type and level of stress to which they are subject, as well as the resources and strategies to face it. Almost all of the behavioral and psychosocial risk factors of chronic disease are more frequent among people with low SES (Cooper, et al., 2000); Likewise, it has been observed that individuals belonging to ethnic groups such as Mapuche and Aymara have greater difficulty to access the public health system (Caqueo-Urízar et al., 2012).

Psychiatric disorders often persist into adulthood. School system evidence in Chile about the effects of these social and health factors is still incipient.

This line aims to describe the impact of mental health in the educational context, studying the role of the social determinants of mental health in two specific minority groups: immigrant students and Aymara children.

The line also seeks to investigate the risk and protection factors associated with the mental health of children and teenagers, also developing psychological interventions on a large scale that promote the improvement of mental health in educational contexts.

The results will have a regional and national impact. On the one hand, it will permit the creation of indicators to assess and monitor the prevalence of mental disorders, in order to build a prevention system and, on the other hand, the research will provide guidelines to improve psychology team practices in education, whose number has risen as a result of the SEP Law that finances their hiring.

Our research team is composed of:


Main Researcher

Alejandra Caqueo-Urízar  ->  See profile


Investigador Asociado

Jerome Flores  ->  See profile


Local Collaborations

Alfonso Urzúa — Universidad Católica de Norte, Chile
Matías Irarrázaval — Universidad de Chile


International Collaborations

David Williams —  Harvard University, United States.
Laurent Boyer — University of Aix-Marseille, France