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Posttraumatic stress disorder in children after the military operation "Anfal" in Iraqi Kurdistan
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. (Child and Adolescent Psychiatry)
Department of Psychiatry Erbil University Hospital Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan, IQ . (Child and Adolescent Psychiatry)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. (Child and Adolescent Psychiatry)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience. (Child and Adolescent Psychiatry)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3975-0063
2000 (English)In: European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, ISSN 1018-8827, E-ISSN 1435-165X, Vol. 9, no 4, p. 235-243Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

 Five years after the military operation “Anfal” in Iraqi Kurdistan, 45 families were randomly selected among the survivors in two displacement camps. The Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms for Children (PTSS-C) and the Harvard Trauma Questionnaire (HTQ) were administered to the oldest child and the caregiver in each family, respectively. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was reported in 87% of children and 60% of their caregivers. While childhood PTSD was only significantly predicted by child trauma score and the duration of captivity, it was neither predicted by maternal PTSD nor did it disappear after the reunion with the PTSD-free father. However, the small sample size makes the results hypotheses rather than conclusive.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2000. Vol. 9, no 4, p. 235-243
National Category
Psychiatry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-56319DOI: 10.1007/s007870070026OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-56319DiVA, id: diva2:84227
Available from: 2008-10-17 Created: 2008-10-17 Last updated: 2020-03-10Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Childhood trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder: A developmental and cross-cultural approach
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Childhood trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder: A developmental and cross-cultural approach
1999 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis aims to identify child-specific cross-cultural protecting and vulnerability factors regarding traumatic experiences and posttraumatic stress reactions. Children between 6-18 years were interviewed from three different socio-cultural backgrounds. In Iraqi Kurdistan, 20 participants in a mass-escape tragedy (MET), 54 orphans and 45 survivors of the genocide operation "Anfal" were interviewed. In Sweden, a sample of 32 Kurdistanian refugee children and a comparable Swedish sample were included. The frequencies of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were 20%, 43%. 87%, 9,7% and 12.5% respectively.

The relatively low frequencies of PTSD in the follow-up sample 2 months, 4 months, 14 months and 26 months after the MET suggest the child functioning in a complete, authoritative family, as a protecting factor. The significant of this developmentally based child-specific functioning level within the supportive family system can also explain the fluctuating PTSD-related symptom scores in this sample parallel to the changes in the socio-economic situation in the region. The over time decrease in behavioural problems among fostercare orphans and their low PTSD frequencies as compared with the increase in behavioural problems and the high PTSD frequencies among orphanage samples further support this suggestion. Child trauma scores and captivity duration predicted for PTSD in "Anfal" survivors, irrespective of parents' trauma scores and PTSD or fathers re-union with the family, suggesting child-specific vulnerability more than contagion effect. Despite PTSD, children in Kurdistan performed high functioning levels, probably indicating a child-specific manifestation of hypervigilance. The Kurdistanian refugee sample revealed lower lifetime reexperiencing PTSD symptom scores than the Swedish sample, indicating a healing effect on the former coming to Sweden and a resilience deficit for the later growing up in a highly sheltered society.

There are more similarities than differences between children from Kurdistan and Sweden in reporting traumatic experiences and exhibiting posttraumatic stress symptoms. Developmentally based child characteristics have a determinant role as protective or vulnerability factors in childhood trauma and PTSD, even if socio-cultural factors also play a role.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 1999. p. 58
Series
Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 0282-7476 ; 874
Keywords
Neurosciences, Childhood Trauma, PTSD, Resilience, Cross-Cultural, Kurdistan, Neurovetenskap
National Category
Neurology Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject
Child and Youth Psychiatry
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-406683 (URN)91-554-4567-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
1999-11-26, föreläsningssalen Minus, Gustavianum, Uppsala, 13:15
Available from: 2020-04-20 Created: 2020-03-10 Last updated: 2020-04-20Bibliographically approved

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Ahmad, AbdulbaghiSundelin Wahlsten, Vivekavon Knorring, Anne-Liis

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