Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 61  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 496-502

Posttraumatic stress disorder and psychosocial difficulties among children living in a conflict area of the Southeastern Anatolia region of Turkey

1 Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Eskisehir Osmangazi University, Eskisehir, Turkey
2 Department of Mental Health, Public Health Institution of Mardin, Mardin, Turkey

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Murat Eyuboglu
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Eskisehir Osmangazi University, Eskisehir 26010
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_165_18

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Background: Traumatic events and armed conflicts can lead to many mental disorders, especially posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), in children. We investigated the PTSD symptoms, psychosocial difficulties, general health levels of the parents, and direct and indirect effects of trauma on psychological outcomes. Materials and Methods: A total of 482 children were included in the study. Two hundred and eight of those children were from Derik district, where street fights, curfews, and conflict have been experienced, and 274 of those children were from Yeşilli district, where no conflicts have been observed despite being in the same province. All children filled out the child posttraumatic stress disorder reaction index, the strengths and difficulties questionnaire (SDQ), and parents filled out the General Health Questionnaire-12 (GHQ). Results: All children showed moderate PTSD symptoms; however, no significant difference was observed between the two groups. In the exposed group, children, who had to leave their homes for a while due to conflicts, had worse PTSD symptoms, higher SDQ difficulty scores, and parents' GHQ scores. It was determined that being a female having high maternal GHQ scores and leaving home due to the conflicts significantly increase the risk of occurrence of trauma symptoms. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that children are susceptible to the direct and indirect effects of trauma. It is crucial for intervention programs to be developed for the detection, prevention, and treatment of PTSD symptoms to be applied to all children, regardless of exposure type, in areas affected by conflict.



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