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Children's reactions to war-related stress. Affective symptoms and behaviour problems.


Questionnaire responses from mothers of 1,039 Lebanese 3-9 yr olds were used to study the effects of children's experiences in war on their emotional and social behaviour. Children who had experienced death of a family member, forced displacement of family, or destruction of home or had witnessed death (30% of sample) were about 1.7 times more likely than those who had not to exhibit nervous, regressive, aggressive and depressive behaviour reactions to a general war stress situation (shelling). Findings are discussed with respect to: (a) research relating stressful life events to onset of psychological disorder and (b) societal implications of youngsters' being repeatedly exposed to models of aggression and the violent resolution of interpersonal disputes.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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