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Arch Psychiatr Nurs. 1999 Aug;13(4):192-203.

Testing a model of family stress and coping based on war and non-war stressors, family resources and coping among Lebanese families.

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University of Baltimore, MD. USA.


This study was undertaken to describe the objective stressors, perceived stress, coping, and resources of families living in Beirut during the Lebanese war (1975-1991) and to test a model predicting the relationships of these variables to family adaptation. The sample consisted of 438 families chosen at random. Independent variables included objective stressors and perceived stress. The mediating variables were family resources and coping strategies. The dependent variables were health and interactional indicators of family adaptation: physical and psychological health, depression, and interpersonal and marital relationships. Findings provided support for the theoretical framework. Multiple regression analyses revealed that perceived stress, rather than the objective occurrence of events, predicted family adaptation. Family resources, particularly social support, positively impacted family adaptation and was associated with increased use of cognitive coping. The findings provide a theoretical model which, on further testing, can serve as a basis for practice by health professionals when working with traumatized families.

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