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

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

This study explores adolescent mental health and the intersections between Syrians, Lebanese and Palestinians in the town of Bar Elias, Lebanon. It finds 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.

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Sender H 1, Orcutt M 2, Btaiche R 3, Dabaj J 4 , Nagi Y 5, Abdallah R 4 , Corona S 2, Moore H 1, Fouad F 6, Devakumar D 2.

1 UCL Institute for Global Prosperity, London, UK

2 UCL Global Health, London, UK

3 American University of Beirut, Lebanon

4 CatalyticAction, London, UK

5 New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY, USA

6 American University of Beirut, Lebanon and ReBUILD for Resilience