A three-year follow-up of Cambodian young people traumatized as children

J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1989 Jul;28(4):501-4. doi: 10.1097/00004583-198907000-00006.


Twenty-seven Cambodian young people, who were severely traumatized at ages 8 to 12, were followed up 3 years after an original study. A structured interview and self-rating scales showed that post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) were still highly prevalent (48%). Depression existed in 41%. Those with PTSD differed significantly from those without PTSD on the Global Adjustment Scale, the Social Adjustment Scale, the Beck Depression Inventory, and the Impact of Event Scale. Eight subjects had PTSD at both interviews, while 11 had none at either time. Eight showed a variable course. Avoidance behavior was highly prevalent, even among those without PTSD diagnosis. Although functioning relatively well, these youths continued to show symptoms related to their trauma of 8 to 12 years before.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Asian / psychology*
  • Cambodia / ethnology
  • Child
  • Concentration Camps*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Oregon
  • Personality Development*
  • Prisons*
  • Refugees / psychology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology*