Coping in post war settings following exposure to traumatic events often posed numerous challenges for youth health and well-being. This study explored familial and contextual factors associated with adjustment to the impact of the Sierra Leone civil war in a cross-sectional sample of 359 civilians and former recruited youth. Data were collected through a convenience sampling strategy with the use of survey questions administered face-to -face by trained research assistants in Sierra Leone from April through May of 2014. MANOVA test revealed similar adjustment status for civilians and former recruited youth twelve years after the end of the civil war. In Hierarchical and Logistic Regression analyses, significant gender differences were observed between males and females with females presenting higher levels of adverse outcomes as compared to their male counterparts. Being married, homeownership, active participation in religious programs, high level of spirituality, social support from family and significant other were strong predictors of positive outcomes. On the contrary, the unmarried, owners of transportation, respondents with large household sizes, exposure to injury in the war, and beating all indicated negative adjustment outcomes. Surprisingly, education, employment and age were not significant predictors of adjustment. The present study noted important implications for future research, policy-making, and interventions directed toward all groups of war-affected youth.

LLU Discipline

Family Studies


Counseling and Family Sciences


School of Behavioral Health

First Advisor

Fox, Curtis A.

Second Advisor

Chand, Ian P.

Third Advisor

Distelberg, Brian

Fourth Advisor

Wilson, Colwick M.

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Youth and War - Sierra Leone - Psychological Aspects; Psychic trauma in adolescence - Sierra Leone; Post-traumatic stress disorder in adolescence - Sierra Leone; Adjustment (Psychology) in adolescence - Sierra Leone; Life Change Events

Subject - Local

Coping; Post-war setting; Familial and Contextual Adjustment Factors; Adjustment; Youth



Page Count


Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives