Mediators and Moderators of a Psychosocial Intervention for Children Affected by Political Violence
The authors examined moderators and mediators of a school-based psychosocial intervention for children affected by political violence, according to an ecological resilience theoretical framework. The authors examined data from a cluster randomized trial involving children ages 8 to 13 in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia (treatment condition n = 182, waitlist control condition n = 221). Mediators (hope, coping, peer/emotional/play social support) and moderators (gender, age, family connectedness, household size, other forms of social support, exposure to political violence, and displacement) of treatment outcome on post-traumatic stress symptoms and function impairment were examined in parallel process latent growth curve models.
Compared with the waitlist group, those who were receiving treatment showed maintained hope, increased positive coping, maintained peer social support, and increased play social support. Of these putative mediators, only play social support was found to mediate treatment effects, such that increases in play social support were associated with smaller reductions in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. Furthermore, the authors identified a number of moderators: Girls showed larger treatment benefits on PTSD symptoms; girls, children in smaller households, and children receiving social support from adults outside the household showed larger treatment benefits on function impairment.