The Psychosocial Condition of Syrian Children Facing a Precarious Future


  • Maha Shuayb Lebanese American University, Beirut and University of Cambridge, Faculty of Education
  • Nader Ahmad American University of Beirut



psychosocial conditions, social and political conditions, displaced people, public schools, Lebanon


This study investigates the psychosocial conditions of Syrian refugees and vulnerable Lebanese children in Lebanese public schools. A survey was conducted with Syrian and Lebanese children and their parents. Interviews with public school staff were also carried out. The study found that poverty and war play equal roles in affecting children’s emotional well-being as Syrian and Lebanese children manifest similar levels of anxiety and hyperactivity. While the past presents significant stressors, present and future stressors were also identified amongst refugees. This article critiques the prime emphasis of psychosocial intervention paradigms on past trauma, which risks overlooking present and future stressors. It argues that the psychosocial conditions of refugees are interpreted in isolation from refugees’ poverty, subordinated social status, and the local injustices to which they are subject.


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Author Biographies

Maha Shuayb, Lebanese American University, Beirut and University of Cambridge, Faculty of Education

Maha Shuayb is director of the Centre for Lebanese Studies at the Lebanese American University, Beirut, and an associate lecturer at University of Cambridge, Faculty of Education. She can be reached at

Nader Ahmad, American University of Beirut

Nader Ahmad is a research assistant at the American University of Beirut. He can be reached at naa86@mail.aub.ed.


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How to Cite

Shuayb, M., & Ahmad, N. (2021). The Psychosocial Condition of Syrian Children Facing a Precarious Future. Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees, 37(1), 27–37.

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