Samar Alzeer (GMBPsS)

Thesis title: ‘Suffering with Family Estrangement’: A Constructivist Grounded Theory on Childrearing Experiences of Arab Refugee Caregivers with Families Permanently Residing in Canada and Germany


A Graduate Member of the British Psychological Society (GMBPsS), and student affiliated member of the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA), the Association of Psychologists of Nova Scotia (APNS), and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Samar is currently in her final year of PhD in Clinical Psychology at the School of Health and Social Science in the University of Edinburgh. Prior to her commitment to mental health and research, she launched her career as a certified schoolteacher, licensed by The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, and Alberta Education, Teaching & Leadership Excellence, Alberta AB, Canada. Since 2010, Samar was a former university lecturer at Leibniz University in Hannover (LUH), The University of Applied Sciences in Karlsruhe (HsKA), and Ruhr-University Bochum (ZFA-RUB) in Germany.



In 2018, MSc. Children and Young People's Mental Health and Psychological Practice

Dissertation project title: „ Risk Factors Contributing to the Development of Personality Traits in Young Adults: Parental  Attachment and Peer Relationships” 

School of Health in Social Science, The College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

The University of Edinburgh, UK

In 2015, Graduate courses in English Literature and Canadian Studies

Athabasca University, Edmonton, AB, Canada

In 2007, B.A Degree in Educational Sciences, Special Education

Field of focus: Learning Disabilities and Psychological Disorders

Faculty of Educational Sciences

The University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan



In 2023, شــــهـــادة الرخصة الدولية للمرأة القيادية والريادية : Including two training programs for Women Leadership and Entrepreneurship, entitled:  مع الدكتور محمد خليفة -  الذكاءات المتعددة للمرأة القيادية

مع الأستاذة آمنة المهنا - فن الظهور الإعلامي 

In 2023, New Approaches to Traumatic Grief and Loss: Accredited 15 CPD Training Hours- Continuing Professional Development (2 day), Awarded by SDS Seminars - British Psychological Society (BPS) Approved, UK.

In 2022, Trauma: Psychopathology and Treatments (Somatic, TF-CBT, EMDR): Accredited 15 CPD Training Hours- Continuing Professional Development (2 day), Awarded by SDS Seminars - British Psychological Society (BPS) Approved, UK.

In 2020, Trauma Informed Care: An online Continuing Professional Development CPD Workshop (1 day), British Psychological Society (BPS), UK.

In 2019, Exploring and Interpreting Research Data: Workshop (2 days), accredited by the NSH and Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, EH4 2XU.

In 2019, NRC Good Clinical Practice (GCP Certified): Workshop (1 day), accredited by the NSH and Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, EH4 2XU.

In 2019, Children's Human Rights - An Interdisciplinary Introduction: Certificated course authorized by University of Geneva and offered through Coursera (7 weeks/online non-credit). Instructed by Dr. Roberta Ruggiero, Prof. Philip D. Jaffé and Dr. h. c. Jean Zermatten - Center for Children's Rights Studies, University of Geneva, Switzerland.

In 2016, Learnship Networks teacher training program with mock sessions: Certificated intensive pedagogical training workshop (3 days), Learnship Networks GmbH, Cologne, Germany.


Responsibilities & affiliations


In 2019, ICH E6 GCP Certified/ Investigator recognition: Approved by the Federation of the Royal College of Physicians of the United Kingdom for 5 category 1 (external) CPD credits- RCPS Code: 119824. United Kingdom

In 2015, Interim Professional Certification: Alberta education, Teaching & Leadership Excellence. Alberta, AB, Canada

In 2007,  Teaching License: Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. Amman, Jordan




The British Psychological Society Affiliated, Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership MBPsS (GBC). United Kingdom

Canadian Psychological Association Membership CPA  Canada

Association of Psychologists of Nova Scotia (APNS) Canada

American Psychological Association Membership APA  U.S.A




Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Research summary

In research, Developmental psychology, Personality and Social Psychology, Trauma, as well as Positive Psychology have always been areas of interest to study. My research intends to conceptualize health, mental health and wellbeing through the contribution of environmental and individual risk and protective factors throughout life-span development. I thrive to reinforce a rational approach to capacity development in order to reduce disparities in different forms of discrimination as a primary risk factor for children and their families. Also, I tend to highlight common and global controversial aspects such as education, health, economy, and socio-cultural equality (gender, ethnic and racial equality) through translational research methodologies in consequence to improve implications of mental health policy and intervention to support wellbeing, economic growth, and production. In perspective, these multi-dimensional and person-centered approaches are needed to examine constellations of ethnic and racial identity beliefs, ethnic-racial socialization experiences, and cultural orientations, and therefore, may aid in times of human crisis and trauma.

Current research interests

The present PhD research project provides a holistic and culture-specific (emic) understanding of childrearing encountered by Arab refugee caregivers in international countries of destination, with focus on samples from Canada and Germany. It considered the impacts of experiencing long-term displacement on their parental behaviours, explaining how they perceive and make sense of childrearing within their current country of residence. Adopting constructivist grounded theory methodology while working through a cross-cultural developmental lens, a theory-methods package of symbolic interactionist-grounded theory framework was employed. This involved a dual role working as the translator and analysist, adhering to the principles and practices of Charmaz (2014). With the collaboration of immigration-supporting non-profit organisations, data were collected from an equivalent sample encompassing Arab refugee mothers (n=13) and fathers (n=11) in the form of individual interviews (n=18) and group interviews with mothers and fathers together, related in marriage (n=3). Considering the previous COVID-19 pandemic, in-depth semi-structured interviews lasting 30-60 minutes were administrated online and in the Arabic language. Interviews were audio-recoded and verbatim transcribed, later translated into English for line-by-line coding using Nvivo. Caregivers delineated a complex ongoing process of ‘suffering with family estrangement’ – ‘معاناة تغريب الأسرة’ – as the substantive theory. The emergent key components and processes represent caregivers’ conceptualisation of suffering and sense of duty in rearing their children, adhering to a deeper and more profound understanding of Islamic practice and belief. This understanding is strongly interdependent on Arabic-collectivistic cultural views in parenting and the outset expectations of them as caregivers. The study suggests a better understanding of how culture and religion manifest in coping with adversities related to migration and resettlement, informing their behaviours as individuals and as caregivers. Findings also suggest different implications of loss and coping in mothers compared to fathers, drawn from the role of gender and the heterogenous sense of duty defined in Arab parental dynamics. The study identifies subtle differences in their characterisation of and behaviours towards child(ren) born prior to and subsequent to immigration. It emphasises the merit of acknowledging the crucial role of contextual variables, including environmental, social, religious and cultural realities when exploring this phenomenon in Arab refugees. As such, resilient pathways within their experiences are defined. These explanations contribute to refugee and developmental research and practice, as they are often misinterpreted, overlooked, or marginalised. The qualitative findings, along with the strategies used for collecting and analysing data, are proposed to better serve wider global sectors of health, mental health, education and community-based institutions.

Past research interests

My MSc project Risk Factors Contributing to the Development of Personality Traits in Young Adults: Parental Attachment and Peer Relationships granted me the opportunity to work with large data sets and use different correlation and regression methods for data analyses. In my work, I meant to emphasize on the interplay between environmental and interpersonal variables contributing to psychopathology within the framework of the theory of attachment on a non-clinical population. Through utilizing an interdisciplinary approach in my studies and research, I seek a clear understanding of the mechanisms of risk and protective factors on the human development in theory and practice. Therefore, my studies and research aim to facilitate practitioners, educators, and policy makers seek more effective planning for targeted interventions, treatments, as well as prevention approaches for better outcomes.

Affiliated research centres

Project activity

In 2018, Risk Factors Contributing to the Development of Personality Traits in Young Adults: Parental Attachment and Peer Relationships Master degree research project, supervised by Dr. Kyranides, assessing the associations between insecure maternal and paternal attachment relationships along with poor peer relationships on the development of psychopathic traits using the Parent Adult-Child Relationship Questionnaire (PACQ; Peisah et al., 1999), Relationships Scale Questionnaire (RSQ; Griffin & Bartholomew, 1994), Levenson Self-Report Psychopathy Scale (LSRP; Levenson, Kiehl, & Fitzpatrick, 1995), and Inventory of Callous Unemotional Traits (ICU; Frick, 2004) in a population n= 211 of non-clinical young adults (Mage = 25.55 years old, SD = 5.47 years). The research project developed constructive techniques and knowledge of literature searching, in-depth, critical and rhizomatic thinking in appraising the  literature. The study used quantitative methods in analysing large data sets utilising SPSS correlation and regression analyses, demonstrating evidence that psychopathic traits are positively correlated with insecure paternal attachment and poor of peer relationships, whereas insecure maternal attachment was not. Furthermore, findings of multiple regression analyses pointed out that poor of peer relationships introduced a significant amount of the variance in participants’ psychopathic traits, whereas maternal and paternal attachment did not demonstrate such representation. The research project suggested that tendencies towards psychopathic traits were high in young adults in association with poor peer relationships. Nevertheless, given the sample age, further quantitative investigation is recommended to explain the evidence that poor peer relationships, in contrast with insecure parental attachment, predict higher risk of developing psychopathic traits.

Current project grants

2019-2023: The Government of Canada: Provincial Grant funded by National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC)

Conference details

May 29th, 2020                     81st Annual Canadian Psychological Association CPA Convention (online)

25th - 28th August 2020    Universitas 21 Health Sciences Group Annual Meeting 2020 , OneHealth UCD Dublin (Abstract submission, Poster, 15-minute talk)

July 31st, 2021                     Annual PGR Conference, University of Edinburgh, UK (Abstract submission, Poster, 10-minute presentation)

19th-20th May, 2022           Annual PGR Conference, University of Edinburgh, UK (Abstract submission, 10-minute presentation)

16th- 19th June, 2022        83rd Annual Canadian Psychological Association CPA Convention, Calgary, Canada (Abstract submission, 15-minute talk)

Papers delivered

A Submitted PhD Research Proposal Abstract and participation in poster presentations for the U21 HSG Doctoral Student Forum, UoE PGR Conferences, & CPA Convention

Title: Transgenerational Trauma in Arab Refugees: Approaching a Constructivist Grounded Theory to Explore Intra-Familial Trauma in Cross-Culture-Developmental Context


Alzeer, S.M., Michailidou, M.I., Munot, M. and Kyranides, M.N. (2019). Attachment and Parental Relationships and the Association with Psychopathic Traits in Young Adults, Personality and Individual Differences. Vol.151. DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2019.07.009.


Alzeer, S.M. (2020) Parenting and Sibling Relations in Predicting the Development of Personality Traits. In Benedetto, L. & Ingrassia, M. (Ed.), Parenting. InTechOpen. DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.93486.