6th International Congress of the WIAMH
Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina, August 13 - 15, 1999.
THE IMPACT OF WAR-RELATED MISSING FATHER ON SOCIAL SUPPORT AND DEPRESSIVE SYMPTOMS
Sibela ZVIZDIĆ, Willy BUTOLLO
Department of Psychology, Philosophy Faculty,
University of Sarajevo,
War events have an impact on children’s psychological and social development. Actually, many expelled adolescents know nothing yet on the destiny of their missing fathers, who had been brutally taken away in an unknown direction. Living in a family where the father is missing means growing up under a number of negative conditions. One of them is lack of social support. In the present study we first investigated the amount of perceived availability of social support of adolescents with a missing father and compared this with a control group. Furthermore we studied the impact of the perceived availability of social support on depression scores of adolescents with a missing fathers and controls. The sample consisted of 404 carry adolescents, ages ranging 11-15 years from fourteen primary schools on the Sarajevo Canton territory. There were 201 adolescents with a missing father (106 boys and 95 girls) and 203 controls (99 boys and 104 girls with the father at home). We used self-report instruments to assess depressive symptoms and perceived availability of social support (from peers-friend, teachers and family). The investigation was carried out during spring 1998 and supported by VW-Stiftung Trauma Program. The results indicate that there is no significant difference between the two groups on the levels of the perceived availability of social support. Also they showed that adolescents with better social support have lower levels of depressive reactions.
Key words: Missing fathers – Social support
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