Trauma exposure and post-traumatic stress symptoms among Syrian refugee youth in Jordan: Social support and gender as moderators


This study assessed relations between exposure to trauma and post-traumatic stress (PTS) symptoms, and whether perceived social support from family and friends and gender moderated these associations. Syrian refugee youth (N = 418, 55.0% female) attending public schools in Jordan participated. Boys reported more age-adjusted PTS symptoms than girls. Analyses revealed that family support and gender moderated the association of trauma on PTS symptoms. For males, the benefits of family support were most evident under conditions of high traumatic stress exposure, while for females, benefits of family support were evident when no loss or injury to family members had been reported. Support from friends was not helpful for either gender. School- or family-based interventions designed to treat PTS symptoms need to consider the different needs of boys and girls, particularly within the Syrian Muslim cultural context.

Publication Title

International Journal of Psychology