UCL Institute for Global Prosperity


Adolescent mental health and the intersections between Syrians, Lebanese & Palestinians in Bar Elias

IGP's Hannah Sender and Professor Henrietta Moore are co-authors on a new article for the Journal of Migration and Health

Bar Elias

6 January 2023

Social and cultural conditions affecting the mental health of Syrian, Lebanese and Palestinian adolescents living in and around Bar Elias, Lebanon

Authors: Hannah Sender, Dr Miriam Orcutt, Rachel Btaiche, Joana Dabaj, Yazan Nagi, Ramona Abdallah, Susanna Corona, Professor Henrietta Moore, Professor Fouad Fouad, Dr Delan Devakumar 

An estimated 1.5 million displaced Syrians live in Lebanon, sharing neighbourhoods and communal spaces with longer-term Lebanese and Palestinian residents. The Syrian Civil War has lasted over one decade. Protracted mass displacement means that many young people are growing up in neighbourhoods, towns and cities which include comparable numbers of recently displaced and longer-term residents.

In this study, we explore adolescent mental health and the intersections between Syrians, Lebanese and Palestinians in the town of Bar Elias, where comparable numbers of displaced people and citizens live. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 30 adolescents in April 2019. We found that Palestinian, Syrian and Lebanese adolescents in Bar Elias identified the same shared conditions as affecting their mental health, although with different impacts on each individual. Sometimes, this difference accords with nationality, but it is also determined by gender and different physical and cognitive abilities. We conclude that recently displaced and host community adolescents can be seen to be affected by shared conditions, and that intersectional identities affect how adolescent mental health is affected by these conditions. We argue that investments in shared infrastructures can support the improvement of mental health for all adolescents.

Read the paper on Science Direct