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War and disaster in Sri Lanka: Implications for widows' family adjustment and perception of self-efficacy in caring for one's family

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Abstract

The data for this study were collected in 2014 from widows in Eastern Sri Lanka whose spouses died in the civil war, tsunami, or from health-related problems. Conservation of resources (COR) theory was used as a lens to examine the extent to which war and tsunami-related damages and family problems predict variation in social support, family adjustment and a perception of self-efficacy in caring for one's family as reported by widowed women. We also investigated whether social support from the community and social support from family and friends mediated those relationships. Results of a path model fit to the data suggested variation in family adjustment to be negatively predicted by war-related family problems and positively predicted by the social support of friends and family. Additionally, a sense of self-efficacy in caring for one's family was found to be inversely predicted by war-related family problems and tsunami damages. Clinical, social and theoretical implications are discussed as well as directions for further research.

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