Post-Traumatic Stress Symptoms and Post-Traumatic Growth in Relation to Parental Self- Efficacy among War Refugee Parents
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Refugee parents who fled war have often experienced trauma; trauma can be followed by post- traumatic growth. Exposure to war-related trauma, together with one’s children, can put increased pressure on parenting, making parents doubt their ability to successfully provide safety for their children, which could, in turn relate to lower levels of post-traumatic growth. This study examined whether the relation between post-traumatic stress symptoms and post-traumatic growth can be explained by parental self-efficacy. It was hypothesised that post-traumatic stress symptoms could foster post-traumatic growth by developing new assumptions and skills to cope with the traumatic experience. This link was expected to be explained by lower parental self-efficacy, undermining parents’ personal strength. Using a cross-sectional research design, data from different surveys were collected between 2014 and 2019 from 73 Syrian war refugee parents of adolescents aged 10-15 in the Netherlands (Mage = 40.95, SDage = 6.26). Data were analysed using the Hayes SPSS process method. Results showed that post-traumatic stress symptoms were not related to post-traumatic growth and that parental self-efficacy was not related to post-traumatic growth. Post-traumatic stress symptoms were related to lower parental self-efficacy, as expected. Findings suggest that parental self-efficacy should be improved in interventions for war refugee parents. It is recommended that future research focuses on longitudinal studies to capture the development of post-traumatic growth.