Kenneth E. Miller

Associate Professor
Edith Lando Professorship in Counselling for Refugee and Immigrant Youth and Families

Prior to joining the faculty of Education at UBC in 2022, Dr. Miller was a Senior Researcher at War Child Holland, a Netherlands-based, international non-profit organization that works to improve the resilience and wellbeing of children living with violence and armed conflict. He joined War Child in 2015 to help establish the organization’s Research and Development Department, where he developed and evaluates psychosocial interventions for conflict-affected communities. Previously, Dr. Miller was an Associate Professor of Psychology at Lesley University (2012–14), Pomona College (2005–08), and San Francisco State University (2004–05) where he was initially an Assistant Professor (1999–2004). He has published extensively on the mental health effects of armed conflict and displacement, and co-edited the book The Mental Health of Refugees. His book War Torn explores resilience and its limits in six war-affected communities. Working with a Sri Lankan film crew, he directed the documentary Unholy Ground: What is the Face of War?. The film, which was first screened at the Boston International Film Festival in 2011,  examines the process of coming to terms with war-related trauma and loss in a village on the frontline of Sri Lank’s civil war. He also writes a popular blog on called The Refugee Experience.

Scholarly Interests:

Immigrant Mental Health & Culture Specific SyndromesInterventionsMindfulnessSocial JusticeStress and CopingTraumaTrauma RecoveryYouth and Families

• Applying a social-ecological framework to understanding the impact of armed conflict and forced migration on the mental health of children and families
• Developing and evaluating mental health and psychosocial interventions with conflict-affected children and families
• The use of mixed-methods in intervention development and evaluation research
• Mindfulness and its incorporation into mental health interventions in settings of adversity
• Development of culturally grounded assessment and evaluation tools


Arizona State University and University of Illinois at Chicago, 1996, National Institute of Mental Health Post-Doctoral Fellow in Prevention Research

University of Michigan, 1994, Ph.D., Clinical Psychology

University of Michigan, 1991, MA, Clinical Psychology

Cornell University, 1985, BA, Government and German Literature

Research Projects

(1) Caregiver Support Intervention: A Psychosocial Intervention for Conflict-Affected Parents.
Role: PI. The primary goal of this project is to develop and rigorously evaluate a preventive group intervention, the Caregiver Support Intervention (SCI), for conflict-affected caregivers aimed at supporting their parenting through two pathways: primarily, by strengthening their own wellbeing, and secondarily, by supporting their use of positive parenting methods. We recently published the findings of our fully powered randomized controlled trial of the CSI, with 480 caregivers from 240 families, primarily Syrians in North Lebanon. The findings were published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry (2022). The results of a process evaluation, based on focus groups conducted with half of the trial participants fro0m the CSI arm, explores the CSI pathways of impact, and examines the impact of extreme adversity on the effects of the CSI over time. That paper is currently in press with Social Science and Medicine–Mental Health. An additional paper, currently in preparation, examines the downstream impact of the CSI on children’s psychosocial wellbeing. Funding has been provided by the Bernard van Leer Foundation (€266,000), the Open Societies Foundations ($220,000), ELMA Creative Philanthropies (€165,000), and the Fred Foundation (€25,000).

(2) A Randomized Control Trial of the I-Deal Life Skills Intervention for Syrian Refugee Adolescents in Lebanon.
Role: PI. We recently completed a randomized control study of the I-Deal life skills intervention, conducted with Syrian refugee children and Lebanese children in northern Lebanon.
Funding: Internal funding of €250,000 from War Child Holland.

(3) Measuring Parenting Among Arabic-speaking Caregivers: Development and Validation of the Dimensions of Parenting Questionnaire. In this project, sought to address a gap in the field of research with Arabic-speaking Middle Eastern families by developing and validating a brief self-report measure of parenting behaviors. The measure was developed based on extensive fieldwork with Syrian refugees in Lebanon and an international team of mental health and psychosocial experts from Lebanon, Syria, the Netherlands, and the US. We are currently preparing a manuscript that describes the development of the questionnaire and its validation.

Selected Publications

Miller, K.E., Arnous, M., Sade, J., Tossyeh, F., & Jordans, M.J.D. (In press). Worlds of pain: A process evaluation of the Caregiver Support Intervention with Syrian refugees in Lebanon. Social Science and Medicine-Mental Health.

Miller, K.E., Chen, A., Koppenol-Gonzalez, G.A., Bakolis, I., Arnous, M., Tossyeh, F., El-Hassan, A., Saleh, A., Saade, J., Nahas, N., & Jordans, M.J.D. (2022). Supporting parenting among Syrian refugees in Lebanon: A randomized controlled trial of the Caregiver Support Intervention. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

Miller, K.E., Jordans, M.J.D., Tol, W.A., & Galappatti, A. (2021). A call for greater conceptual clarity in the field of mental health and psychosocial support in humanitarian settings. Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences, 30, E5. doi:10.1017/S2045796020001110

Miller, K.E., Koppenol-Gonzalez, G. V., Jawad, A., Steen, F., Sassine, M., & Jordans, M.J.D. (2020). A randomized controlled trial of the I-Deal Life Skills Intervention with Syrian adolescents in northern Lebanon. Intervention, 18, 119-128.

Miller, K.E., Ghalayini, H., Arnous, M., Tossyeh, F., van den Broek, M., Koppenol-Gonzalez, G.V., & Jordans, M.J.D. (2020). Strengthening parenting in conflict-affected communities: Development of the Caregiver Support Intervention. Global Mental Health, 7. DOI: 10.1017/gmh.2020.8

Miller, K.E., Koppernol-Gonzalez, G.V, Arnous, M., Tossyeh, F., Chen, A., Nahas, N., & Jordans, M. J.D. (2020). Supporting Syrian Families Displaced by Armed Conflict: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial of the Caregiver Support Intervention. Child Abuse and Neglect, 106. DOI: 10.10.16/j.chiabu.2020.104512

Miller, K.E., Arnous, M., Tossyeh, F., Chen, A., Koppernol-Gonzalez, G., Nahas, N., & Jordans. M. J.D. (2020). Protocol for a Randomized Control Trial of the Caregiver Support Intervention with Syrian Refugees in Lebanon. Trials, 21. DOI: 10.1186/s13063-020-4175-9

Chen, A., Tossyeh, F., Arnous, M. Saleh, A., El Hassan, A., Sade, J., & Miller, K.E. (2020). Phone-based data collection in a refugee community under Covid-19 lockdown. The Lancet Psychiatry, April 28.

Rasmussen, A., Miller, K. E., & Verkuilen, J. (2018). Conceptualization and measurement of traumatic events among refugees and other war-affected populations. In N. Morina & A. Nickerson (Eds.), The mental health of refugee and conflict-affected populations (pp. 327-340). Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

Miller, K.E., & Rasmussen, A. (2016). The mental health of populations displaced by armed conflict: An ecological model of refugee distress. Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences,26, 129-138.

Miller, K.E., & Jordans, M.J.D. (2016). Determinants of children’s mental health in war-torn settings: Translating research into action. Current Psychiatry Reports18, 58-64.

Miller, K.E., & Perera, S. (2015). Growing up on the frontline: Coming to terms with war-related loss in Sri Lanka. In A. Hinton and D. Hinton (Eds.), Legacies of Mass Violence (pp. 359-368).  Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Miller, K.E., & Rasmussen, A. (2014). War experiences, daily stressors, and mental health five years on: Elaborations and future directions. Intervention: International Journal of Mental Health, Psychosocial Work and Counseling in Areas of Armed Conflict, 12, 33-43

Miller, K.E. (2010). Mixed methods in research with war-affected populations: Grounding our research in local contexts. In S. Carr (Ed.), The psychology of mobility in a global era. New York: Springer Press.

Miller, K.E., & Rasmussen, A. (2010). Mental health and armed conflict: The importance of distinguishing between war exposure and other sources of adversity: a response to Neuner. Social Science and Medicine, 71, 1385-1389.

Miller, K.E., & Rasmussen, A. (2010). War exposure, daily stressors, and mental health in conflict and post-conflict settings: Bridging the divide between trauma-focused and psychosocial frameworks. Social Science and Medicine, 70, 7-16.

Fernando, G. A., Miller, K.E., & Berger, D. (2010). Growing pains: The impact of disaster-related and daily stressors on the mental health and psychosocial functioning of youth in Sri Lanka. Child Development, 81,1192-1210.

Miller, K.E., Fernando, G., & Berger, D. (2009). Daily stressors in the lives of Sri Lankan youth: A mixed-methods approach to assessment in a context of war and natural disaster. Intervention: International Journal of Mental Health, Psychosocial Work and Counseling in Areas of Armed Conflict, 7, 187-203.

Miller, K. E., Omidian P., Kulkarni, M., Yaqubi, A., & Rasmussen, A. (2009). The validity and clinical utility of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder in Afghanistan. Transcultural Psychiatry,46, 219-237.

Miller, K. E., Omidian, P., Rasmussen, A., Yaqubi, A., Daudzai, H., Nasiri, M., Bakhtyari, M.B., Quraishi, N., Usmankhil, S., & Sultani, Z.  (2008). Daily stressors, war experiences, and mental health in Afghanistan. Transcultural Psychiatry, 45¸ 611-639.

Miller, K. E., Kulkarni, M., & Kushner, H. (2006). Beyond trauma-focused psychiatric epidemiology: Bridging research and practice with war-affected populations. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 76, 409-422.

Miller, K. E., Omidian, P., Qurashy, A.S., Nasiry, M.N., Quarshy, N., Nasiry, S., Karyar, N.M.,& Yaqubi, A. (2006).  The Afghan Symptom Checklist: A culturally grounded approach to mental health assessment in a conflict zone. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 76, 423-33.