Risk and Resilience in Ukraine: Individual, Family, and Community Predictors of Adolescent and Young Adult Adjustment

Project Description

This study will collect data from approximately 750 university students in Ukraine in the winter of 2023. Self-reported data will include measures on adjustment, well-being, outlook, substance use, stress,  and other factors. One-third of the participants provided data during the winter of 2022-23, which will allow researchers to study changes in student well-being over time. In addition to surveying students, parents of young people in the study will also be invited to participate. Data will be used to identify profiles and predictors of risk and resilience and will provide a description of Ukrainian youth mental health during the military invasion.  This research will provide insight into how best to support the mental health of young people during a global crisis.

Project Goals

This project will study what factors influence how adolescents, young adults and their parents are adjusting during a military invasion in four regions of Ukraine. The goals are to:

  • Investigate factors associated with post-traumatic stress and growth.  We will collect self-report data from young people and a parent regarding individual characteristics (e.g., hope, optimism, nationalism), family characteristics (e.g., parent-child communication), and community characteristics (e.g., number of missile siren warnings and the presence of Russian troops) and their associations with stress, anxiety, depression, health, and well-being.
  • Re-interview past adolescent and young adult participants to examine longitudinal predictors of adjustment changes over time.
  • Explore the feasibility of measuring cortisol levels as a marker of stress by collecting hair samples from adolescent and young adult participants.