American Univesity of Beirut

Family Focused Psychosocial Support for at-risk adolescents in Lebanon

​​​​Tania Bosqui (American University of Beirut) and Felicity Brown (War Child Holland)

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Research team:

Anas Mayya, Larine Fahed, Maliki Ghoissany, Sally Farah, Zahraa Shaito (American University of Beirut); Theresa Betancourt (Boston College of Social Work); Michael Donnelly (Queen's University Belfast); Alan Carr (University College Dublin); Bassel Meksassi, Joseph Elias, Mark Jordans (War Child Holland)

Implementing partners/technical support:

UNICEF Lebanon, Terre des Hommes Italia, Danish Refugee Council, War Child Holland, Global Health Institute, National Mental Health Program, Community Advisory Boards


This study aims to develop and test a family systemic intervention that can be delivered alongside the existing UNICEF Lebanon's Focused-Psychosocial Support (FPSS) program for at-risk adolescents in Lebanon. There is a small yet growing evidence base for psychosocial interventions in conflict and humanitarian emergencies, however adolescent mental health is often under-researched and drastically under-resourced. Families play a critical role in ensuring adolescent mental health and protection outcomes, yet there has been limited research evaluating family interventions in these settings.

Nurturing family environments are essential for healthy child development, and parenting and systemic family interventions show strong effectiveness. Through the development and evaluation of an adjunctive Family Systemic Intervention Module we will enhance current humanitarian programming by addressing the child's ecology, while also addressing a significant weakness of the current evidence base for at-risk adolescents and their families in conflict-affected contexts. The program is systemic, culturally and contextually relevant, and sustainable. Findings will inform the Mental Health System Reform in Lebanon led by the National Mental Health Programme (NMHP). The participatory, hybrid effectiveness-implementation design will ensure that the intervention is optimally contextualized, and suited for wide-scale implementation.

This work is supported by the AHRC-FDCO Collaborative Humanitarian Protection Research program (grant number 103916)

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