Millions of children across the world are affected by war and displacement. As well as having experienced traumatic war-related events, many refugee children end up living in adverse conditions with little access to basic resources. It is well established that children exposed to war and displacement are at increased risk for the development of mental health problems, including post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, and behavioural problems. Professor Pluess will report new findings from the BIOPATH study on the prevalence and predictors of mental health problems among a large sample of vulnerable Syrian refugee children living in informal refugee settlements in Lebanon. In addition, he will present findings from their recent t-CETA study in Lebanon on phone-delivered psychological therapy. After presenting empirical findings from our studies with Syrian refugee children in Lebanon, Professor Pluess will discuss practical implications of their results.
Michael Pluess, PhD, is a Professor in Developmental Psychology at the Department of Biological and Experimental Psychology at Queen Mary University of London. Initially trained in chemistry and music he spent several years working in the lab and on stage before pursuing his interests in psychology. His research focuses on three areas: 1) individual differences in Environmental Sensitivity, the notion that some are more affected by the same experience than other people due to being more sensitive to environmental influences, 2) Positive Development, such as the development and evaluation of interventions aimed at promoting the development of psychological well-being in children and adults, and 3) Mental Health and Resilience in Humanitarian Crises, including longitudinal studies and randomised controlled trials on mental health interventions in humanitarian settings. His research has been published in the leading journals of the field.