Samar Alzeer (MSc, MBPsS)

Thesis title: "Being an Arab Refugee...":A Constructivist Grounded Theory to Explore Intra-Familial Refugee-Related Trauma & Adversity in Cross-Culture-Developmental Contexts


I’ve always considered myself to be a rebel of sorts—I couldn’t be the surgeon my Palestinian father anticipated me to be. I was never at peace working regular 8-5-day jobs or settling as a housewife, always yearning for more intellectual and creative fulfillment. 

My name is Samar Alzeer. I am a Canadian citizen and EU permanent resident. I am a mother of three children and come from a cross-cultural background. I can speak, read, and write in three different languages (English, German & Arabic), and have lived in the Middle East for several years before moving to Europe in 2010.  Over the years, I’ve learned to embrace my disruptive nature. Impatiently devouring knowledge while working across interdisciplinary fields throughout my academic and professional careers to develop a virtual understanding and tolerance of different cultures and their perspectives, in which enabled me to birth my own ventures.

I first completed my bachelor’s degree from The University of Jordan in the field of Educational Sciences majoring in Special Education. In October 2018 I achieved my Master of Sciences in Children and Young People's Mental Health and Psychological Practice from The University of Edinburgh, UK. Currently, I am a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh in the department of Clinical and Health Psychology, proposing qualitative research to explore transgenerational trauma in Arab refugee children through family relational patterns in cross-cultural context.

I have launched my career in teaching various disciplines in English Language at various educational institutes in Germany and Jordan. I hold a certificate and license for teaching from both Canada and Jordan, and continuously intend to broaden my teaching and supervising skills by attending respective seminars and workshops. I have gained the experience working with children with special needs at a young age immediately following my B.A graduation, starting as an ESL, ASN and primary teacher at The Modern American Schools, then moving forward to working at The Modern Montessori Schools, and later, The International Community Schools in Amman Jordan. Moving to Germany in 2010, I have pursued my teaching career as a docent, working at Leibniz University in Hannover (LUH), The University of Applied Sciences in Karlsruhe (HsKA), and Ruhr-University Bochum (ZFA-RUB). At that stage of my teaching career, an understanding of management, technology and statistics using e-learning platforms was essential. There, I found my time in teaching a wide range of B.A, MSc and Ph.D. students subjects such as Professional English, Medical English, English for Academic Purposes, English Technology and English Business Economics very stimulating. For this purpose, I have applied activating teaching methods in my classes, and extensively integrated e-learning tools such as wikis and e-portfolios, setting a market of opportunities for the students’ higher education development. The goal of my teaching is to not only impart knowledge but to develop the skills of students.

In 2019, I decided to take a step forward and enrolled in the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA). I also became a graduate student member of the British Psychological Society (MBPsS) and was granted the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC). My belief that there is a better way to integrate the various disciplines I have come across motivated me to progress in learning new skills in research, networking, and further explore my strengths and interests in the fields of Education, Mental Health and Psychology. 

My passion for feminism, diversity, authenticity and innovation lights a fire beneath everything I do, yielding a personal philosophy of research approach. 


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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 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 (Student Affiliated). Canada

Association of Psychologists of Nova Scotia (APNS) Canada

American Psychological Association Membership APA (Student Affiliated). U.S.A

Alberta Professional Teaching Certification and Alberta Teacher Association (ATA). Canada

Council of International Schools (CIS). International Organization

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Research summary

In research, Developmental psychology, Personality and Social Psychology, Trauma, as well as Positive Psychology have always been my focus areas of 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

My proposed PhD research suggests to investigate familial emotional and self-regulation, coping strategies and adaption by adopting a constructivist grounded theory methodology (Charmaz, 2014) to develop a conceptual understanding of the transgenerational refugee-related trauma in Arab refugee family relational patterns. The project sheds light on contextual influences of cross-cultural perspectives in child development, parenting and family dynamics, underlying Arab cultural identity, morals and values as the foundation of its approach to diverse populations when exploring trauma.

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.