Format

Send to

Choose Destination
J Affect Disord. 2016 Nov 1;204:255-61. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2016.08.001. Epub 2016 Aug 11.

Long-term psychological consequences among adolescent survivors of the Wenchuan earthquake in China: A cross-sectional survey six years after the disaster.

Author information

1
Hyogo Institute for Traumatic Stress, Kobe, Japan. Electronic address: Eizaburo_Tanaka@j-hits.org.
2
Organization for Global Affairs, Kanazawa University, Kanazawa, Japan.
3
Department of Mental Health/Psychiatric Nursing, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.
4
Hyogo Institute for Traumatic Stress, Kobe, Japan.
5
Institute of Teacher Education and Psychology, Sichuan Normal University, Chengdu, China.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Most epidemiological studies on adolescent survivors' mental health have been conducted within 2 years after the disaster. Longer-term psychological consequences remain unclear. This study explored psychological symptoms in secondary school students who were living in Sichuan province 6 years after the Wenchuan earthquake.

METHODS:

A secondary data analysis was performed on data from a final survey of survivors conducted 6 years after the Wenchuan earthquake as part of the five-year mental health and psychosocial support project. A total of 2641 participants were divided into three groups, according to the level of traumatic experience exposure during the earthquake (0, 1, and 2 or more). ANCOVA was used to compare the mean scores of the Symptom Checklist-90 (SCL-90) among the three groups, adjusting for covariates such as age, gender, ethnicity, having a sibling, parents' divorce, and socio-economic status. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify relationships between the traumatic experiences and suicidality after the disaster.

RESULTS:

Having two or more kinds of traumatic experiences was associated with higher psychological symptom scores on the SCL-90 (Cohen's d=0.23-0.33) and suicidal ideation (OR 1.98, 95% CIs:1.35-2.89) and attempts (OR 3.32, 95% CIs:1.65-6.68), as compared with having no traumatic experience.

LIMITATIONS:

Causality cannot be inferred from this cross-sectional survey, and results may not generalize to other populations due to convenience sampling.

CONCLUSIONS:

Severely traumatized adolescent survivors of the earthquake may suffer from psychological symptoms even 6 years after the disaster. Long-term psychological support will be needed for these individuals.

KEYWORDS:

Child; Epidemiology; Mental health; Natural disaster; Suicide; Symptom Checklist-90

PMID:
27544312
DOI:
10.1016/j.jad.2016.08.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center