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Abstract

The participants were 111 Kuwaiti boys and girls and 59 mothers assessed in 1993 and 2003 to determine exposure to war-related trauma during the Iraqi occupation and subsequent psychological distress. Children were classified into four groups based on what happened to their fathers during the occupation: killed, missing, arrested, or unharmed. The results indicate that the group whose fathers were arrested had the highest level of posttraumatic stress symptoms and the highest level of depression and anxiety in 2003. In 1993, the highest levels of depression for children and their mothers were observed in those whose fathers–husbands were killed or missing relative to controls. Long-term effects of war-related trauma in children may be influenced by the war experience of their fathers.