Children in war zones at high risk of suffering emotional disorders
- By: Kay Seong Ngoo
Children living in war zones are at a great risk of developing posttraumatic stress and other emotional disorders. Acute distress due to traumatic events in these children can also result in emotional problems that are not commonly recognised.
This observation came from a joint study by researchers from Palestine and Leicester, United Kingdom, who found that, the effects on children during the ongoing armed conflict in the Middle East is devastating (Lancet 2002; 359:1801-04). The researchers interviewed children aged 9-18 years residing around the Gaza strip, whose families either reside in war exposed areas or in regions not directly affected by bombardment. Children who are directly affected by the conflict, including bombardment and home demolition, developed greater incidences of post-traumatic stress disorders and fear. In comparison, children who did not endure those destructive acts but are living in war zones are less likely to develop those psychological disorders. More than