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Abstract

There is growing acknowledgment that research in the postconflict field needs to include a focus on social conditions. The authors applied structural equation modeling to epidemiologic data obtained from postconflict Timor-Leste, to examine for links involving potentially traumatic events and sociodemographic factors (age, gender, educational levels, and unemployment) with psychological symptoms and functioning. Exposure to trauma and lack of education emerged as most relevant with psychological distress impacting on education in the urban area. Age and gender exerted influences at different points in the model consistent with the known history of Timor. Although based on cross-sectional data, the model supports the relevance of past trauma, posttraumatic distress, and postconflict social conditions to functioning in societies such as Timor-Leste.