Dr. Anis Ben Brik, Associate Professor at the College of Public Policy (CPP) at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), was a plenary speaker at the 2020 National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) Annual Conference. Taking place November 10 – 13, the virtual event brought together academics, students and practitioners with an interest in family science and related topics.
Based around the theme of Family Expansions, Expanding Families: Contouring Family Science’s Negative Spaces, the 2020 NCFR Annual Conference featured a mix of workshops, research presentations, panel discussions and plenary sessions. Attendees also participated in a diverse range of focus group meetings, poster sessions and other networking opportunities.
For his part, Dr. Brik joined a plenary session entitled Global Health Disparities Among Families in the COVID-19 Pandemic. Proceedings reflected his current project exploring the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on family life across cultures.
The Impact of the Pandemic on Family Life Across Cultures is an international research study led by Dr. Brik and a team of global experts in partnership with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DISD/UNDESA) and 20 international civil society organizations. It is being conducted in 72 countries across North America, Europe, Africa, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East
The aims of the study are wide-reaching and of great potential value to all families and agencies concerned with their thriving: to track the pattern of the symptoms, causes and risk factors of mental health in parents; to understand the experiences, coping skills and mechanisms of parents under pandemic conditions; to identify parents’ needs, and to use this evidence to inform the design of policy and support for families in the future.
The NCFR, founded in 1938, is the oldest nonprofit, nonpartisan, multidisciplinary professional association focused solely on family research, practice, and education. Each year, hundreds of faculty, researchers, students, and family professionals present their work and make valuable professional connections at this conference, which discusses peer-reviewed, cutting-edge research, methods and practices, pedagogy, and more related to understanding and strengthening families.
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The world is passing through an exceptional phase with the current existing circumstances and due to rapidly developing global context; the pandemic effected the rise of violent extremism and has created challenging dynamics such as religious and ethnic tension, mental health issues and domestic