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Title: The role of social supports and copying strategies in mediating the impact of civil war on Libyan children's mental health
Author: Farag, Ahmad A. H.
ISNI:       0000 0004 9346 9958
Awarding Body: University of Leicester
Current Institution: University of Leicester
Date of Award: 2020
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Background: The vast majority of evidence is based on the high rates of mental health problems among refugee children and the risk factors involved; there is less evidence with regard to internally displaced and protective factors, particularly when simultaneously considering both individual and environmental factors. Aims: The study sought to investigate: 1. the association between exposure to civil war trauma and mental health problems among displaced parents and children; and 2. whether coping strategies and perceived social support moderated this association. Method: One hundred internally displaced children in Libya aged between 9 and 15 years and the same number of parents participated in the study, who completed measures of mental health problems (children: CRIES-8 and SDQ; parents: IES-22 and GHQ-12). Furthermore, the Gaza Traumatic Event Checklist, Coping Strategies and Perceived Social Support from Family and Peers questionnaires were completed by both parents and children. The research hypotheses were tested via multiple regression models. All questionnaires were subsequently subjected to exploratory factor analysis (EFA), following which the multiple regression testing was repeated according to the revised subscales. Results: Internally displaced parents and their children reported high rates of post-traumatic stress and mental health problems, which were significantly associated with exposure to trauma. This association was moderated by parents using support-seeking and children using problem-solving strategies. Although several revised subscales emerged from the EFA, these did not alter the key findings of the regression models. Conclusions: War conflict and resulting displacements have adverse effects on parents' and children's mental health. Libyan families appeared to rely on their own coping strategies rather than on support systems, which indicates that they were not reintegrated in their host communities. The findings have implications for policy, service provision and practice. Preventive and responsive interventions should be multi-modal and implemented throughout the course of families' displacement.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Civil War ; Libya ; Children's Mental Health ; Social Supports