Refugee children are faced with multiple stressors. These stressors include unresolved issues with country of origin, transition to a new country, and long-term adjustment. War is a traumatic situation. For children who have gone through the trauma of war, parents may contribute one of the major influences to their psychosocial adjustment. The purpose of this study was to assess the role that parental mental health, as measured by the Hopkins Symptom Checklist - 25 (HSCL-25) and parenting sense of competence as measured by the Parenting Sense of Competence Scale (PSOC), plays in children’s psychosocial adjustment to war trauma using delinquency as measured by the Delinquency Behavior Measure and interpersonal competence as measured by the Interpersonal Competence Scale (ICS) as outcome measures. Sixty-eight Sudanese refugee families were evaluated. The parents were asked to fill out the HSCL-25 and the PSOC, and their children were asked to fill out the Delinquency Behavior Measure (subscale I), and the Interpersonal Competence Scale. Correlations and multiple regressions were run on the data. The results of the current study indicated that good parental mental health was associated with good interpersonal competence in refugee children. Further, that there was an association between parental sense of competence and children’s interpersonal competence. However, although these associations existed, one did not necessarily explain the other. No relationship was found between children’s delinquent acting out and parents’ mental health or sense of competence. The results suggested that while parental factors impact refugee children’s adjustment, parental mental health and sense of competence may not be the biggest predictors of children’s interpersonal and prosocial/antisocial outcomes.

LLU Discipline





Graduate Studies

First Advisor

Faith H. McClure

Second Advisor

Matt L. Riggs

Third Advisor

Emmanuel Rudatsikira

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Refugees -- psychology; Social Support; Child; Parent-Child Relations; War -- psychology; Mental Health.



Page Count

xiii; 89

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