Relationship Between Post-Migration Risks and Holistic Learning Among Syrian Refugee Children in Lebanon

Refugee children face a constellation of risks in their home country, when they're on the move, and after they arrive in host countries.

Our research with Syrian refugee children in Lebanon adds to a growing body of evidence that such experiences of adversity can impact the foundational cognitive and behavioral skills that forecast later learning.

The most consistent risk for later learning challenges we identified among Syrian refugee children enrolled in Lebanese public school was being older than expected for the grade in which they were placed, what we call "age for grade." Syrian refugee children who were older than expected for their grade level had poorer executive functioning, behavioral regulation, literacy, and numeracy skills than children who were a typical age for their grade.

In addition, children's cognitive and behavioral regulation skills forecasted improvements in children's literacy and numeracy skills. We discuss research, practice, policy, and donor recommendations of these findings.

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NYU Global TIES for Children