Parenting in humanitarian and conflict situations

Exposure to extreme violence and loss, the disruption of leaving home with few or no possessions and adapting to new and often poor living conditions in refugee camps or other displacement locations can leave children vulnerable to mental health problems.

Parental support and family cohesion have been identified by research as protective against mental health problems in children in situations of armed conflict. We have conducted a series of studies to 1) investigate the feasibility of conducting research in this context, 2)  understand the challenges parents and caregivers face and 3) test the feasibility of distributing parenting information to and collecting data from refugee families. Further studies investigate whether we can deliver and evaluate parenting intervention in these contexts, and the extent to which parenting skills can help reduce signs of traumatic stress.

Photo credit: Emad Nasser.



Dr Aala El-Khani, has given two TEDx talks on the work

What it is like to be a parent in a war zone



Changing the world one parent at a time