Psychological Support for Families During Crises (as exemplified by families members of Ukrainian war veterans)

Tetiana Yablonska 1  and Tetiana Melnychuk 2
  • 1 Developmental Psychology Department of the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv,
  • 2 Social and Organizational Psychology at the Institute of Psychology of G.S. Kostiuk of the National Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of Ukraine,


The goal of the article is to describe the theoretical and empirical research of characteristics of families under non-normative crises, having as an example the families of combatants participated in the anti-terrorist operation in Ukraine. The following family crises are discussed: normative crises, as period of transition from one stage of the family life cycle to another and non-normative crises caused by traumatic life events.

Research methodology. In order to differentiate more clearly the families of war veterans (those who returned from the anti-terrorist operation zone were examined) and their reactions to the crisis, a sample consisted of chosen nuclear families and the attention was focused on the marital subsystem as a family basis. At the end, survey and psychological testing of war veterans’ wives were conducted; the following diagnostic techniques were used: the author’s questionnaire, FACES-3 method (D.Olson), the questionnaire of family anxiety (E.Eydemiller); the methods of mathematical statistics were used to estimate the data.

Research results. The data of the empirical study of the 36 families of war veterans who participated in the military operations in the ATO zone (Ukraine) show that such non-normative family crisis is characterized by family system imbalance and its correction requires adaptation of the family as a whole system to the new reality. Most war veterans’ families undergo series of transformations associated with changes in family structure, communication, significant emotional stress.

Discussion. Psychological assistance to war veterans’ families should include psychological learning, prevention and resolving of marital relationship problems, including construction of a new family image, joint life prospects, discussion and transformation of family rules and regulations, development of family cohesion and communication.

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