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Am J Psychiatry. 2001 Jul;158(7):1020-6.

Mothers' functioning and children's symptoms 5 years after a SCUD missile attack.

Author information

  • 1Tel Aviv-Community Mental Health Center, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Israel. nlaor@netvision.net.il

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The authors assessed the long-term consequences of the SCUD missile attack in Israel on children as a function of their mothers' psychological functioning, family cohesion, and the event itself.

METHOD:

Five years after the Gulf War, the authors assessed the internalizing, externalizing, stress, and posttraumatic symptoms of 81 children aged 8-10 years whose homes were damaged in the SCUD missile attack, as well as general and posttraumatic symptoms, defensive style, and object relations in their mothers.

RESULTS:

There was a significant decrease in severity in most symptom domains and an increase in avoidant symptoms in the children. Greater severity of symptoms was associated with being displaced, living in a family with inadequate cohesion, and having a mother with poor psychological functioning. The association between the symptoms of children and mothers was stronger among the younger children. Posttraumatic symptoms increased in one-third of the children and decreased in one-third over the last 30 months of the study. Severe posttraumatic symptoms were reported in 8% of the children.

CONCLUSIONS:

Despite a continuous decrease in symptom severity, risk factors identified shortly after the Gulf War continued to exert their influence on children 5 years after the traumatic exposure.

PMID:
11431222
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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