Post-traumatic Stress Reactions in Children of War

Gaza Community Mental Health Programme, Palestine.
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 6.46). 04/1999; 40(3):385-91. DOI: 10.1017/S0021963098003709
Source: PubMed


The aims of this study were to estimate the rate of post-traumatic stress reactions in Palestinian children who experienced war traumas, and to investigate the relationship between trauma-related factors and PTSD reactions. The sample consisted of 239 children of 6 to 11 years of age. Measures included the Rutter A2 (parent) and B2 (teacher) scales, the Gaza Traumatic Event Checklist, and the Child Post-Traumatic Stress Reaction Index. Of the sample, 174 children (72.8%) reported PTSD reactions of at least mild intensity, while 98 (41%) reported moderate/severe PTSD reactions. Caseness on the Rutter A2 scale was detected in 64 children (26.8%), which correlated well with detection of PTSD reactions, but not with teacher-detected caseness. The total number of experienced traumas was the best predictor of presence and severity of PTSD. Intervention programmes for post-war children need to be evaluated, taking into account developmental and cultural aspects, as well as characteristics of the communities involved.

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    • "The precariousness of their living conditions was also translated through an assessment of the level of parental satisfaction with the available social resources and the stress factors for the child. Thabet and Vostanis (1999) observed a greater prevalence of PTSD in the children of northern Gaza living in refugee's camps. They concluded that this prevalence could be linked to the adversity inherent in living in a refugee camp, such as being moved on elsewhere, interruptions in schooling and the break-up of friendships , among other things. "
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    • "High rates of PTSD have been found in studies of children living in conflict areas [19,30,35]. Similar to patterns in adults [6] chronic post-trauma symptoms persist in a substantial sub-group of children and can severely interfere with functioning [20,50,51]. "
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    Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health 10/2013; 7(1):36. DOI:10.1186/1753-2000-7-36
    • "Parents' war traumas. Parents' war trauma measure was based on the Gaza Traumatic Event Checklist (Thabet & Vostanis, 1999) and it covered their experiences of violence during the Israeli–Palestinian conflict from 1948 Arab–Israeli War and Palestinian exodus, 1967 Six-Day War and Israeli occupation of Gaza, 1987–1993 Intifada, and 2008–2009 Gaza War. Both mothers and fathers reported about their war traumas separately. "
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