April 12, 2018

The Center for Strategic Studies (CSS) at the University of Jordan (UJ) held a lecture entitled: "The impact of ongoing trauma on Syrian refugees: Could the alarming prevalence and impact of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder be an indicator for radicalization?" delivered by Dr. Lina Haddad Kreidie, a Fulbright scholar at CSS.

The lecture was based on Kreidie's study on the prevalence and impact of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) on civilians, mainly Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

Kreidie conducted a survey questionnaire of a random sample of 2050 Lebanese, Palestinian and Syrian refugees adults (ages21-64) living in Lebanon. Using DSM-IV criteria; the results indicated high prevalence of PTSD with 33% PTSD among Lebanese, 43 % among Palestinians, and 70% among Syrians, all living in Lebanon.

The survey analysis emphasizes how PTSD a neuropsychiatric syndrome that causes a change in the cognitive abilities could impair the human ability to contribute to a more productive and peaceful society.

In her lecture, Kreidie focused on the data analysis that confirms how low impulse control paralleled with unmanaged emotions, extreme behavior and tendency to blame the others, lead to dysfunctional behavior increasing conflictive behavior, and possibility of radicalization.

Kreidie also briefly discussed her current qualitative research dealing with adversity and resilience among Syrian refuges living in Jordan.

In his opening address, CSS Director Prof. Musa Shteiwi shed light on the consequences of compulsory migration, experience of traumatic events, and resettlement in new cultural settings with challenging socio-economic circumstances on the wellbeing of humans, including psychiatric well-being.

He concluded that the "path to violent extremism is neither direct nor predictable", adding that exposure to traumatic stress and violence during childhood has deep, long term consequences that increases the risk of a variety of negative outcomes, including recruitment to violent groups.