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Traumatic Events and PTSD Among Palestinian Children and Adolescents: The Effect of Demographic and Socioeconomic Factors

El-Khodary, Basel, Samara, Muthanna and Askew, Chris (2020) Traumatic Events and PTSD Among Palestinian Children and Adolescents: The Effect of Demographic and Socioeconomic Factors Frontiers in Psychiatry, 11, 4.

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Abstract

Background: The situation in the Gaza Strip is uncommon in the frequency with which children are exposed to war-related traumatic events on a daily basis and because of the long-term nature of the conflict. The prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among children and adolescents in the Gaza Strip increased after the recent wars. The aims of the study are: To investigate the prevalence and nature of war traumatic events and PTSD; and to investigate how these traumatic events predict PTSD when taking into account demographic and socioeconomic status factors amongst Palestinian children and adolescents in the Gaza Strip.

Methods: The sample consists of 1,029 school pupils (11–17 years old): 533 (51.8%) were female and 496 (48.2%) were male. War-Traumatic Events Checklist (W-TECh) Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders Symptoms Scale (PTSDSS) were used.

Results: The majority of children and adolescents experienced personal trauma (N: 909; 88.4%), witnessed trauma to others (N: 861; 83.7%) and observed demolition of property (N: 908; 88.3%) during the war. Compared to girls, boys showed significantly more exposure to all three event types as well as overall traumatic events. Results also demonstrated that the prevalence of DSM-V PTSD diagnosis was 53.5% (N = 549). Further, children who had experienced personal trauma, trauma to others, and the demolition of property were significantly more likely to be diagnosed with PTSD compared to those who had not, even when adjusting for demographic and socioeconomic factors. The strongest war trauma for PTSD is personal trauma followed by witnessing trauma and then observing demolition of properties.

Conclusions: The study provides valuable evidence that demographic and socioeconomic factors mediate the relationship between different war traumatic events and PTSD. Interventions should take into account the children’s background including their gender, age, where they live, and their socioeconomic status (e.g., family income, parents' educational level, family size) to alleviate the psychological symptoms and to enhance their resilience.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
El-Khodary, Basel
Samara, Muthanna
Askew, Chrisc.askew@surrey.ac.uk
Date : 31 March 2020
DOI : 10.3389/fpsyt.2020.00004
Copyright Disclaimer : Copyright © 2020 El-Khodary, Samara and Askew. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 04 Jun 2020 16:01
Last Modified : 04 Jun 2020 16:01
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/857073

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