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The Hidden Effects of Child Maltreatment in a War Region: Correlates of Psychopathology in Two Generations Living in Northern Uganda

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  • We acknowledge the efforts and support of Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), parents and adolescents, Social Science Research Council, local counsellors, and vivo international team.

Abstract

Adverse life experiences are a major risk factor for psychopathology. Studies from industrialized countries have consistently shown the detrimental effects of child maltreatment on the mental health of the victims. Research in war-affected populations, however, has mostly been restricted to the psychological damage caused by the war. Both war trauma and child maltreatment have rarely been studied simultaneously. In a comparative study of 2 generations living in severely war-affected regions in Northern Uganda, we determined the relationship between both trauma types and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and suicide ideation. A total of 100 adolescents, 50 with and 50 without a history of abduction by the rebel army with both their parents (100 mothers and 100 fathers) living in camps in northern Uganda were interviewed. The study showed that both generations were severely affected by war and child maltreatment. Both trauma types were independently correlated with psychological disorders in the adolescent group. Only child maltreatment, however, not war violence, accounted for PTSD symptoms in the parent group (β = .253, p = .002). We conclude that, even in the context of severe war, the impact of child maltreatment on psychological disorders surpasses the damage of war trauma.

Traditional and Simplified Chinese Abstracts by AsianSTSS

標題:戰區中虐待兒童的潛在影響:在北烏干達居住的兩代人中精神病理學的預測因素

撮要:不利生活體驗是精神病理學中主要風險因素。工業國家研究持續顯示兒童受虐對受害者的精神健康有不利影響;有關受戰火煎熬人群的研究大多只限於戰事的心理傷害,而甚少同時研究戰爭創傷和兒童虐待。我們在飽受戰火影響的北烏干達地區的兩代人對比研究中,會檢視兩種創傷(戰事和虐兒)和創傷後壓力症(PTSD),焦慮,抑鬱及自殺的關係。我們面見了100名住在北烏干達難民營青少年,即50名有被叛軍拐帶及50名沒有被拐帶的青少年,和他們的父母(100名母親和100名父親)。本研究指出兩代人都嚴重受戰事和兒童虐待影響。兩種創傷都獨立地與青少年心理障礙有關連。只有兒童虐待,但非戰事暴力,能在父母組別中預測PTSD症狀。結論是:即是在嚴重戰亂下,虐兒對心理障礙的影響遠超戰爭創傷。

标题:战区中虐待儿童的潜在影响:在北乌干达居住的两代人中精神病理学的预测因素

撮要:不利的生活体验是精神病理学中主要风险因素。工业国家研究持续显示儿童受虐对受害者的精神健康有不利影响;有关受战火煎熬人群的研究大多只限于战事的心理伤害,而较少同时研究战争创伤和儿童虐待。我们在饱受战火影响的北乌干达地区的两代人比较研究中,会检视两种创伤(战事和虐儿)和创伤后压力症(PTSD),焦虑,抑郁及自杀的关系。我们面见了100名住在北乌干达难民营青少年,即50名有被叛军拐走及50名没有被拐走的青少年,和他们的父母(100名母亲和100名父亲)。本研究指出两代人都严重受战事和儿童虐待影响。两种创伤都独立地与青少年心理障碍有关连。只有儿童虐待,但非战事暴力,能在父母组别中预测PTSD症状。结论是:即是在严重战乱下,虐儿对心理障碍的影响远超战争创伤。

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