The Relationship between War Trauma, PTSD, Anxiety and Depression among Adolescents in the Gaza Strip

Aim: The study aimed to investigate the relationship between war trauma and PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), anxiety and depression problems among secondary school students in Gaza Strip. Method: The study sample consisted of 408 randomly selected secondary school students (204 boys and 204 girls). Adolescents were interviewed using sociodemographic questionnaire, Gaza Traumatic Events Checklist, Birleson Self-Rating Depression Scale, and Revised Children's Manifest Anxiety Scale. Results: The results showed that the most common reported traumatic experiences by adolescents were watching mutilated bodies in TV (93.1%), hearing shelling of the area by artillery (92.4%), hearing the loud voice of drones (90.4%), forced to leave you home with family members due to shelling (67.6%), and Inhalation of bad smells due to bombardment (67.6%). Mean traumatic events were 10. There were statistically significant differences toward boys. Our results showed that 25.5% showed partial PTSD and 16.4% of children showed full criteria of PTSD. PTSD was more in children with family monthly income less than 1700 NIS. Using cut-off point of the scale, 92 of children reported anxiety (22.2%). There were statistically significantly differences in anxiety in favour of girls. Anxiety was more in children from poor families (monthly income less than 1700 NIS). Using cut-off point of the scale, 139 of children reported depression (34.1%). Depression was more in children from poor families (monthly income less than 1700 NIS). The results showed that there was significant correlation between total traumatic events reported by children and total PTSD, re-experiencing, avoidance and arousal. There was statistical correlation between anxiety and depression, anxiety and PTSD and there was statistical significant correlation between PTSD and depression.


Hana'Ahmed Qeshta, Ahmed M AL_Hawajri and Abdelaziz M Thabet

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