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Keywords:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder;
  • Turkey;
  • earthquake;
  • children;
  • adolescents

The study investigated the emergence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in child and adolescent survivors in Turkey three years after the 1999 Marmara Earthquake, with consideration of the severity of exposure and the survivors' gender and age. A representative sample of 293 young earthquake survivors (152 female and 141 male between the ages of 8 and 15) participated in the study. Participants' scores on the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Reaction Index for Children indicated that 31.4% reported moderate, 24.2% reported severe, and 3.8% reported very severe traumatic stress reactions. Analysis of the Revised Impact of Events Scale for Children scores revealed that 56% reported severe PTSD symptoms. While severity of exposure and gender were significantly associated with severity of PTSD symptoms, age was not related to PTSD symptoms. The results indicated a high need for addressing the mental health problems of the child and adolescent trauma survivors in Turkey.