Dawit Shawel Abebe (Professor of Public Health)

I dedicate this blog page to present my research projects and publications including collaborative projects aiming to understand ethnic disparities in wellbeing and mental health, particularly focusing on immigrant children and their families.

Et oppgjør med strukturell diskriminering i finansiering av helseforskning?

Er det ikke Forskningsrådets mandat å sikre at forskningsmidler skal tildeles for å lindre strukturell ulikhet i kunnskapsproduksjon? Les her:


Psykiske lidelser mindre utbredt blant innvandrere. Men det finnes noen unntak. Les artikkelen her:


Mental disorders among young adults of immigrant background: A nationwide register study in Norway

Previous research indicates increased risk of various mental disorders in immigrant populations, particularly for schizophrenia and PTSD. However, findings are inconclusive due to variations in contextual factors, characteristics of immigrant groups and study design. In this paper, we aimed to investigate prevalence differences of receiving an ICD-10 psychiatric diagnosis among young adults (age 18–35) comprising 758,774 ethnic Norwegians, 61,124 immigrants originating from Poland, Somalia, Iran and Pakistan and 4,630 second-generation Pakistani immigrants. Our findings suggest considerable prevalence differences of receiving a psychiatric diagnosis according to the country of origin and generational status compared to ethnic Norwegian controls. The general pattern was lower prevalence of most ICD-10 mental disorders (alcohol use disorders, drug use disorders, bipolar affective disorders, depressive disorders, recurrent depressive disorders, and anxiety disorders) for the majority of immigrant groups compared with ethnic Norwegians, except for schizophrenia and PTSD.

Here is link to the article: 


Mental health service use reduces the odds of upper-secondary school completion.

Mental disorders typically develop during adolescence, with young women being particularly at risk. Early onset of mental disorders might negatively affect both current and future life situations due to reduced possibility to gain social capital, including increased risk of school noncompletion. Aside from young women, migrants are also at increased risk of development of mental disorders, as a result of experiences prior to, during and after migration. Our newly published study thus aimed to investigate the association between use of outpatient mental health services (OPMH), a proxy for mental disorders, and upper-secondary school completion among young women. Additionally, we examined whether the probability to complete upper-secondary education when using OPMH services vary by migrant background. We used linked national registry data from Norway. The sample consisted of 122,777 young women, born between 1990 and 1993, who resided in the country during the exposure period, when aged 16-19 years. 

We found that use of OPMH services decreased the overall odds of upper-secondary school completion among young women. We detected that descendant women, who had used OPMH services, had a significantly higher probability of completing upper-secondary education, compared to the Norwegian majority. None of the migrant women differed significantly from majority women. In general, mental disorders during adolescence have a negative impact on school completion in young women. We suggest that future interventions aiming to increase school completion among young women with mental disorders should consider the differences between migrants, descendants and the majority population.

Here is link to the article: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352827320302688