Skip to main content Accessibility help
Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-m9kch Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-05-20T19:41:18.327Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Chapter 5 - Psychological Assessment in the Levant

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 July 2022

Sumaya Laher
University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
Get access


The Arab-Levant (Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Jordan) has long been at the center of cultural, social, and geopolitical changes in the region, which have been central in shaping the development of psychological practice and science in the region. The region has been at the cross section of multiple foreign influences (French, British, US, Arab), all of whom have impacted academia. This resulted not only in multiple ideologies and schools of psychological thought that remain until today, but also in a trilingual academic system that further deepens the disconnect among psychologists and test-takers in the region. Additionally, the Levant’s experience of occupation, trauma, diaspora, and political instability has led to an increased need and interest in mental health services and displaced populations, and hence the measurement of related constructs. More recently, with increased funding for research on such populations, non-Arab researchers have gained a renewed interest in the region, which has led the way to increased collaborative efforts in the development of psychometric tools. This chapter discusses how these contemporary historical developments have impacted testing-related practices academia, research, and practice in clinical, educational, and industrial/organizational practice.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Abdul Razzak, R. (2013). A preliminary study on the Trail-making Test in Arabic-English bilingual young adults. Applied Neuropsychology, 20(1), 5360. https://doi:10.1080/09084282.2012.670163.Google Scholar
Abou-Hatab, F. (1997). Psychology from Egyptian, Arab, and Islamic perspectives: Unfulfilled hopes and hopeful fulfillment. European Psychologist, 2(4), 356365.Google Scholar
Abu Asaad, A. (2011). Guide of psychological and educational tests and measures (3 volumes). (dalil alikhtibarat wa almakaiis alnafsia wa altarbawiya). Depone Center for Teaching Thinking: Amman, Jordan.Google Scholar
Abu-Hamour, B. & Al-Hmouz, H. (2016). Prevalence and pattern of learning difficulties in primary school students in Jordan, Australian Journal of Learning Difficulties, 21(2), 99113. doi:10.1080/19404158.2017.1287104Google Scholar
Ahmed, R. & Gielen, U. (1998). Psychology in the Arab countries. Cairo, Egypt: Menoufia Press.Google Scholar
Al-Joudi, H. (2015). Availability of Arabic language tests in the Middle East and North Africa. INSNET, 35, 68.Google Scholar
Al-Soud, N. (2000). The progress of the science of psychology in the Arab world and its prospective development [in Arabic]. Intellectual Studies Magazine, 1, 155183Google Scholar
Alkhamra, R. A. & Al-Jazi, A. B. (2015). Validity and reliability of the Arabic Token Test for children. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, Advance online publication. doi:10.1111/1460-6984.12198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Alpak, G., Unal, A., Bulbul, F., Sagaltici, E., Bez, Y., Altindag, A., Dalkilic, A., & Savas, H. A. (2015). Post-Traumatic stress disorder among Syrian refugees in Turkey: a cross- sectional study. International Journal of Psychiatry and Clinical Practice, 19(1), 4550.Google Scholar
Al-Razouq, T. H. (2006). Al-khasais al-saikumitriya lemiqyas Bayley lilnumow al-’aqli walharaki ‘omr 1-42 shahr [Psychometric properties of the Jordanian version of Bayley Mental and Motor Scales for Child Development (Age: 1 Month-42 Months)]. Educational Sciences, 36(1), 96112.Google Scholar
Al-Razouq, T. H. (2014). Ma’ayir al-idrak al-basari-al-haraki lilatfal ‘omr 2-7 sanawat [Visual-Motor/Integration Scale for Children from two to seven years]. Educational Sciences, 41(S1), 464477.Google Scholar
Al-Waqfi, R. (1998). Sensory Motor Integration Test. Amman: Princess Tharwat College.Google Scholar
Amawi, N., Mollica, R., Lavelle, J., Osman, O., & Nasir, N. (2014). Overview of research on the Al-k mental health impact of violence in the Middle East in light of the Arab Spring. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 202(9), 625629.Google Scholar
Ardila, A. (2003). Language representation and working memory with bilinguals. Journal of Communication Disorders, 36(3), 233240Google Scholar
Atiyeh, N. (1993). Thka’ al atfal min khilal al rusum (measuring children’s intelligence through drawing Goodenough Draw A Man Test). Beirut, Lebanon: Dar El Talia.Google Scholar
Ayyash-Abdo, H. (2001). Individualism and collectivism: The case of Lebanon. Social Behavior and Personality, 29(5), 503518(16). Scholar
Al-Zoubi, M., & Green, M. (2015). Developing a mental ability test to be used in vocational guidance for fresh university graduates in Jordan (In Arabic). Jordan Journal of Social Sciences, 8(1), 127.Google Scholar
Bliss, D. (1894). Elementary lessons in mental philosophy. Beirut (In arabic).Google Scholar
Daouk-Öyry, L., Zeinoun, P., Choueiri, L., & Van de Vijver, F. (2016). Integrating global and local perspectives in psycholexical studies: A GloCal approach. Journal of Research in Personality, 62, 1928. Scholar
El Hassan, K. & Jammal, R. (2005). Validation and development of norms for the Test of Auditory Comprehension of Language-Revised (TACL-R). Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 12(2), 183202.Google Scholar
El Hassan, K. & Madhun, G. (2007). Validating the Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal. Higher Education Journal, 54, 361383. Scholar
El Hassan, K. (2011). Quality of college life (QCL): Validation of a measure of student well-being in the Middle East. International Journal of Educational and Psychological Measurement, 8(1), 1222.Google Scholar
El Hassan, K. & Haidar, Z. (2020). Adaptation and validation of Conners-3 teacher and parent rating scales on Lebanese children. Manuscript in press.Google Scholar
Fasfous, A., Al-Joudi, H., Puente, A., & Pérez-García, A. (2017). Neuropsychological measures in the Arab world: A systematic review. Neuropsychological Review, 27, 158173. Scholar
Gielen, U. P. (2006, December). Arab psychology and the emerging global psychology movement: A modest Proposal. Paper presented at Third International Conference: Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies: An Integrated Perspective, Kuwait University.Google Scholar
Haj-Yahia, M. (2007). Challenges in studying the psychological effects of Palestinian children’s exposure to political violence and their coping with this traumatic experience. Child Abuse and Neglect, 31(7), 691697.Google Scholar
Hamid, H., Abu-Hijleh, N., Sharif, S., Raqab, M., Mas’ad, D., & Abbas, A. (2004) A primary care study of the correlates of depressive symptoms among Jordanian women. Transcultural Psychiatry, 41(4), 487496.Google Scholar
Harb, C. (2015). The Arab Region from: Handbook of Arab American Psychology. Routledge. Retrieved from Scholar
Harsha, N., Ziq, L., Ghandour, R., & Giacaman, R. (2016). Well-being and associated factors among adults in the occupied Palestinian territory. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 14(122), 17. doi:10.1186/s12955–016-0519-2.Google Scholar
Hedar, M. (2017). Mental health during the Syrian crisis: How Syrians are dealing with the psychological effects. International Review of the Red Cross, 99 (3), 927935. doi:10.1017/S1816383119000080.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ibrahim, H. & Hassan, C. Q. (2017). Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms resultingfrom torture and other traumatic events among Syrian Kurdish refugees in Kurdistan region, Iraq. Frontiers in Psychology, 8 (281), 18. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00241.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ibrahim, A. S., Dukhayyil, A., & Ibrahim, R., (1993). Two waves of growth in psychological behavioral therapy (Mowjatan mena attawattur fi alilaj alsoloooki). Journal of Psychology, 26, 1626.Google Scholar
Ibrahim, A. S., (2013). Arab World Psychology. In Keith, K. D. (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Cross-Cultural Psychology (1st ed.). John Wiley and Sons, Inc.Google Scholar
Ibrahim, A. S. & Ibrahim, R. (2003). Anxiety, depression, hostility, and general psychopathology: An Arabian study. In Giuliano, A. J., Anchor, K. N., & Barth, J. B. (eds.), Advances in medical psychotherapy and psychodiagnosis (pp. 173184). Dubuque, IA: Kendall-Hunt Publishing Company.Google Scholar
Ismail, G. (2012). Cognizing omitted contexts and implicit paradigms: Toward a valid mental health discourse. In Jabour, S. (ed.) Public Health in the Arab World (pp. 191199). Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Khoury, B., Tabbarah, S (2012). Lebanon. In Baker, B. D. (ed.), The Oxford handbook of the history of psychology: Global perspectives. Oxford: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195366556.013.0017Google Scholar
Kaye, A. S. (2001). Diglossia: The state of the art. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 117–130.Google Scholar
Kazarian, S. & Khoury, B. (2003, December). Psychology in Lebanon: Challenges and prospects. Paper presented at the Middle East and North Africa Regional Conference in Psychology, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.Google Scholar
Khaleefa, O. (1999). Research on creativity, intelligence and giftedness: The case of the Arab World. Gifted and Talented International, 14(1), 2129. doi: 10.108015332276.1999.11672902.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Maalouf, F., & Akl, E. (2019). Mental health research in the Arab region: Challenges and call for Action. Elsevier Editorial System(tm) for The Lancet, THELANCETPSYCH- D-18-01069R1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mahmoud, O. (2015). Neuropsychological assessment in the Arab World: Observations & challenges. International Neuropsychological Society (INS) NET, 35(1), 46.Google Scholar
Makkawi, I. (2015). Critical psychology in the Arab world. In Parker, I. (ed.) Handbook of critical psychology (pp. 415424). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
Marwa, J. (2016). Psychosocial sequels of Syrian conflict. Psychiatry, 19(2). doi:10.4172/2378-5756.1000355.Google Scholar
Melikian, L. (1984). The transfer of psychological knowledge to the third world countries and its impact on producing states development, the case of five Arab Gulf oil- producing countries. International Journal of Psychology, 19, 6577. Scholar
Mollica, R. F., Caspi-Yavin, Y., Bollini, P., Truong, T., & Lavelle, J. (1992). The Harvard Trauma Questionnaire: Validating a cross-cultural instrument for measuring torture, trauma, and posttraumatic stress disorder in Indochinese refugees. Journal of Nervous Mental Disorders, 180(2), 111116.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Perkins, J. D., Ajeeb, M., Fadel, L. & Saleh, G. (2018). Mental health in Syrian children with a focus on post-traumatic stress: a cross-sectional study from Syrian schools. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 53(11), 12311239.Google Scholar
Prothro, E. T. & Melikian, L. (1955). Psychology in the Arab Near East. Psychological Bulletin, 52(4), 303310.Google Scholar
Rama, Kanj & Karma, El-Hassan (2021). Measurement of expressive vocabulary in multilingual children using the dual-Focus approach method for test development, International Journal of Multilingualism, DOI: 10.1080/14790718.2021.1895171.Google Scholar
Sánchez-Sosa, J. J., & Riveros, A. (2007). Theory, research, and practice in psychology in the developing (majority) world. In Stevens, M. J. & Gielen, U. P. (eds.), Toward a global psychology: Theory, research, intervention, and pedagogy (pp. 101146). Mahwah, NJ: ErlbaumGoogle Scholar
Sawaya, H., Atoui, M., Hamadeh, A., Zeinoun, P., & Nahas, Z. (2016). Adaptation and initial validation of the Patient Health Questionnaire–9 (PHQ-9) and the Generalized Anxiety Disorder–7 Questionnaire (GAD-7) in an Arabic speaking Lebanese psychiatric outpatient sample. Psychiatry Research, 239, 245252. Scholar
Sayed, M. A. (2003). Psychotherapy of Arab patients in the West: Uniqueness, empathy, and “otherness.” American Journal of Psychotherapy 57(4), 445459.Google Scholar
Saigh, P. A. (1984). School psychology in Lebanon. Journal of School Psychology, 22(3), 233238.Google Scholar
Saigh, P. A. (1986). The Lebanese General Intelligence Scale (Forms A, B, and C). Beirut: American University of Beirut, Office of Research and DevelopmentGoogle Scholar
Saigh, P. (1989). School psychology research in Lebanon: A retrospective analysis and a look ahead. Professional School Psychology, 4(3), 201208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Smith, L. T. (1999). Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous People. London: Zed Books Ltd.Google Scholar
Soueif, M. I. (1998). Conclusions. In Ahmed, R. A. & Gielen, U. P. (eds.), Psychology in the Arab countries (pp. 569582). Menoufia, Egypt: Menoufia University Press.Google Scholar
Summerfield, D. (1999). A critique of 7 assumptions behind psychological trauma programs in war-affected areas. Social Science Medical, 48(10), 14491462.Google Scholar
Thabet, A. A., Abu Tawahina, A., El Sarraj, E., Henely, D., Pelleick, H., & Vostanis, P. (2013). Comorbidity of post-traumatic stress disorder, attention deficit with hyperactivity, conduct, and oppositional defiant disorder in Palestinian children affected by war on Gaza. Health, 5(6), 9941002. Scholar
Touma, V. M. & Moussallem, Y. (2016). La nécessité de l’adaptation d’un test cognitif à la culture arabe–le cas du WISC-IV. Pratiques Psychologiques, 22(1), 7585.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Veronese, G. & Pepe, A. (2017). Positive and negative affect in children living in refugee camps: Assessing the psychometric proprieties and factorial invariance of the PANAS-C in the Gaza Strip. Evaluation and the Health Professions, 40(1), 332.Google Scholar
Veronese, G., Pepe, A., Dagdouke, J., Addimando, L., & Yaghi, S. (2017). Measuring well-being in Israel and Palestine: The Subjective Well-Being Assessment Scale. Psychological Reports, 120(6), 11601177.Google Scholar
Wiig, E. H. & Al-Halees, Y. (2000). Developing a language screening test for Arabic- speaking children. Folia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica, 52(6), 260274.Google Scholar
Zayour, A. (1996). Towards an Arab psychology (nahu psychologia arabia). (Psychnet forum interview). file:///E:/ITC%20Chapter/Zayour%20Arabpsynet.pdf.Google Scholar
Zebian, S. Alamuddin, R., Maalouf, M., & Chatila, Y. (2007). Developing an appropriate psychology through culturally sensitive research practices in the Arabic speaking world. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 38(2), 91122. doi:10.1177/0022022106295442.Google Scholar
Zeinoun, P., Akl, E. A., Maalouf, F. T., & Meho, L. I. (2020). The Arab Region’s contribution to global mental health research (2009–2018): A bibliometric analysis. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 11, 182. Scholar
Zeinoun, P., Daouk-Öyry, L., Choueiri, L., & Van de Vijver, F. J. R. (2017). A mixed method study of personality conceptions in the Levant: Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and the West Bank. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 113 (3), 453465.Google Scholar
Zeinoun, P. & Maroun, M. (2015). Neuropsychology in Lebanon: History and future directions. INSNET, 35(2), 13.Google Scholar
Zeinoun, P., Bawab, S., Atwi, M., Hariz, N., Tavitian, L., Khani, M., … & Maalouf, F. (2013). Validation of an Arabic multi-informant psychiatric diagnostic interview for children and adolescents: Development and Well Being Assessment-Arabic (DAWBA-Arabic). Comprehensive Psychiatry 54(7), 10341041.Google Scholar
Zeinoun, P., Iliescu, D., & El-Hakim, R. (2021). Psychological tests in Arabic: A review of methodological practices and recommendations for future use. Neuropsychology Review. Scholar
Zeinoun, P., Farran, N., Khoury, S., & Darwish, H. (2020). Development, Psychometric Properties, and Pilot Norms of the first Arabic Indigenous Memory Test: The Verbal Memory Arabic Test (VMAT). Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology. doi:10.1080/13803395.2020.1773408.Google Scholar

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats