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

Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 1989 Nov;24(6):282-7. doi: 10.1007/BF01788030.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Affective Symptoms / epidemiology*
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Lebanon
  • Life Change Events*
  • Male
  • Warfare*