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Psychol Rep. 1999 Oct;85(2):646-50.

Posttraumatic stress symptoms in a population of rural children in South Africa.

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Department of Psychology, University of the North, Sovenga, South Africa.


The purpose of the study was to identify exposure to experiences such as violence and the consequences for health in children in a rural South African community. The stratified random sample included 148 children below 17 yr., which comprised 68 (46%) boys and 80 (54%) girls in the age range of 6 to 16 years (M = 12.1 yr., SD = 3.1). Their ethnicity was Northern Sotho. The interviews included the Children's Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Inventory and the Reporting Questionnaire for Children. The experiences could be grouped into either traumatic or other events. 99 (67%) had directly or vicariously experienced a traumatic event which included witnessing someone killed or seriously injured, serious accident, violent or very unexpected death or suicide of loved one, sexual abuse or rape of relative or friend, violent crime, child abuse, and other life-threatening situations. Scores on the Children's Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Inventory of 17 (8.4%) fulfilled the criterion for posttraumatic stress disorder. 71% had more than one score and 53% had more than four scores on the Reporting Questionnaire for Children. Posttraumatic stress symptoms were significantly related to age and experiences such as those mentioned above.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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