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. It is well established that children exposed to war and displacement are at increased risk for the development of mental health problems. I 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 (N = 1,600) living in informal refugee settlements in Lebanon. Although war exposure and displacement is associated with the development of mental health problems, some children prove to be resilient. Hence, I will also present findings on resilience in the BIOPATH study with a specific focus on change in risk and resilience over time.
Michael Pluess, PhD, is a Professor in Developmental Psychology at the School of Psychology, University of Surrey. His research focuses on three areas: 1) individual differences in Environmental Sensitivity, the notion that some people are more affected by the same experience than others 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.