Miss Alaa Albawab

Research project: A longitudinal study on Syrian children who were exposed to conflict and the role of intervention.


The aim of my PhD research is to investigate the level of PTSD symptoms and other mental health problems such as depression and anxiety on Syrian children. The study will also focus on testing the feasibility and the effectiveness of and virtual reality (VR) on Syrian children.The level of PTSD and other mental health will be measured at three time periods: pre-intervention, post intervention and 3 months follow up. The goal of these three periods is to measure the effectiveness of VR. Research questions are: 1) Does VR have a positive impact on Syrian children? 2) Does Syrian children who were born/raised in (Germany and the Netherlands) have lower level of PTSD and other mental health problems than Syrian children who have been displaced during/after the war? This research will inform policy makers, practitioners and parents on various ways to enhance children's resilience and coping skills.

  • Research degree: PhD
  • Title of project: A longitudinal study on Syrian children who were exposed to conflict and the role of intervention.
  • Research supervisor: Professor Muthanna Samara
  • Other research supervisor: Dr Aiman El Asam


I have gained an MSc in Applied psychology at London Metropolitan University with a merit degree in 2018. I have then worked in a school as a counsellor for Kindergarten children with complex behavioural issues, ADHD, depression and mood disorders. Dealing with these complex behavioural motivated me to expand my knowledge, and to pursue a PhD degree at Kingston University London in 2019.

I have been involved in teaching, supervising and marking for undergraduate and postgraduate students. I am currently working with Professor. Muthanna Samara in different projects, such as the Qprem project (investigating the development of premature children), VR project and Bullying.

I am also working on Bullying project in relation to School Design & Safety that is sponsored by Cost Action TRIBES.

Areas of research interest

  • Mental health disorder
  • PTSD
  • Children and adolescence
  • The effect of war on children
  • Bullying
  • Virtual Reality (VR) intervention
  • Preterm Children
  • Behavioural therapy
  • Neuroscience


  • BSc in Industrial Engineering, American University of the Middle East
  • Pre-Master in Psychology (conversion course), London Metropolitan University
  • MSc in Applied Psychology, London Metropolitan University

Funding or awards received

  • Graduate Research School Funding: £1000, Kingston University
  • Faculty of Business & Social Sciences Funding: £3000, Kingston University
  • Won the Innovative Team Award at Kingston University People's Awards event, 2023