Parenting among mothers exposed to ongoing military conflict in childhood: An exploratory study

Authors:
Efrat Hadar, Mirit Sagron, Ora Peleg
Published Online:
11 Dec 2019
DOI:
10.1002/ijop.12643

Additional Options

Mothers living in areas exposed to ongoing military conflict are at higher risk for psychological difficulties, such as posttraumatic stress disorder, than those not living in such areas. The aim of this two‐part exploratory study was twofold. The first aim was to examine differences between mothers who grew up under ongoing military conflict in childhood and mothers who did not grow up in affected areas in terms of their levels of differentiation of self and parental self‐efficacy (PSE). The second aim was to identify and describe the parenting experiences of mothers who were exposed to military conflict in childhood. In Part 1 of the study, the sample included 120 mothers (half of whom reported on being exposed to ongoing military conflict in childhood). Findings showed that mothers exposed to ongoing military conflict in childhood reported lower levels of differentiation of self and PSE than their counterparts. In Part 2, 10 mothers who were exposed to ongoing military conflict as children were interviewed about their experience as parents and their PSE. Results indicated that the mothers felt their childhood experiences affected their parenting and PSE negatively, resulting in anxiety, difficulty dealing with stress and sometimes posttraumatic symptoms as well as parental patterns of overprotectiveness, separation anxiety and intergenerational transmission of anxiety. The results highlight the consequences of exposure to ongoing military conflict during childhood on levels of differentiation of self and parenting practices.

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