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Parenting in times of war

PhD candidate: Hend Eltanamly, MSc

Growing up in times of war is a fact many children and adolescents are experiencing on a daily basis. The negative effects of war exposure on children have been intensively studied, yet we do not fully understand how war exposure casts its adverse effects on children. Unraveling the contributions of changed family dynamics to this process seems an important part of the puzzle of understanding how war affects children. In addition, experiences of war are not limited to war exposure in home countries. Many war exposed families face a multitude of stressors until they reach resettlement in other countries, eventually becoming refugees. Can we unravel how the accumulation and dissipation of stressors in different phases, along the road to refuge, shape parenting among refugee parents?  Moreover, the new environment in resettlement might pose numerous stressors ranging from a loss of status, loss of financial resources, acculturation difficulties, and possibly an acculturation gap with their children. How do such stressors relate to parental self-efficacy and the use of autonomy-supportive parenting practices among refugee parents?  Can we strengthen parental self-efficacy in a micro-intervention, which in turn, might translate into more autonomy supportive parenting? Would improving parental self-efficacy weaken the link between daily stressors and parental self-efficacy among refugee parents? By doing so, we hope we can support a vulnerable population trying to build a new life after having faced extreme adversity.

This project is part of the NWO Yield Graduate Programme. 

Prof. dr. G.J. (Geertjan) Overbeek


Dr. P.H.O. (Patty) Leijten