Long-term effects of war-related trauma in children

Project: Research project

Description

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The goal of this investigation is to assess psychological and health-related consequences of the Gulf crisis experience of 1990-1991 over a 12-year period, in 151 participants (initially ages 7-10) with varying levels of exposure to war-related trauma. These effects will be examined in the context of a model that includes retrospective reports of exposure to war-related trauma in 1990-1991, psychological distress measures collected in 1993 from the pre-adolescents (then ages 9-12) and their parents, life events between 1993 and 2003-2004, current exposure to war-related events, social support, and current measures of psychological distress and health-related symptoms collected in 2003. The following specific aims will be assessed in this study: 1) To evaluate predictors of current levels of psychological distress in young adults who were exposed to the Gulf crisis as children. Specifically, we will test a conceptual model of the prospective effect of exposure to war-related trauma in 1990-1991 on current psychological distress. The model specifies psychological distress reported by children and their parents in 1993 as mediators of exposure to war-related trauma on the young adults' current psychological distress. Major life events and trauma between 1993 and 2003 will be examined as an additional predictor of current psychological distress and as a mediator of exposure to war-related trauma on current levels of psychological distress. Current levels of life stress and war-related exposure will be examined as an additional predictor of current psychological distress and as subsequent mediator of prior life events and trauma on current levels of psychological distress. Social support will be examined as a protective factor for current levels of distress and as a mediator of prior life events and trauma and current stress on current levels of psychological distress; 2) To replicate and extend the conceptual model of psychological distress by examining predictors of current levels of health-related symptoms in young adults who were exposed to the Gulf crisis as children. Specifically, we will examine whether war-related trauma in 1990-1991 and levels of psychological distress assessed in 1993 prospectively predict current health-related symptoms. The model specifies psychological distress reported by children in 1993 as mediators of exposure to war-related trauma on the young adults' current health-related symptoms. Major life events and trauma between 1993 and 2003 will be examined as an additional predictor of current health-related symptoms and as a mediator of exposure to war-related trauma on current health-related symptoms. Current levels of life stress and war-related exposure will be examined as an additional predictor of current health-related symptoms and as subsequent mediator of prior life events and trauma on current health-related symptoms. Social support will be examined as a protective factor for current health-related symptoms and as a mediator of prior life events and trauma and current stress on current health-related symptoms; 3) To compare aspects of the model between males and females. We will determine whether the effects of exposure to war-related trauma are moderated by gender, such that in 2003-2004, females report higher levels of depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress and whether social support exerts the same influence in males as it does in females; 4) To examine whether varying levels of exposure to the Gulf crisis as children is associated with different life outcomes as young adults, including the level of education attained, employment status, marital status. Participants in the 1993 study (N = 120) will be recalled and assessed with a variety of instruments designed to measure psychological distress (PTSD, depression, anxiety), health-related symptoms (blood pressure, health complaints, sleep quality), life stress, perceived stress and exposures, and social support. A structural model adapted from the model initially proposed by Korol (1990) is specified to describe how exposure to war-related trauma in 1990-1991 may work through mediators to influence psychological distress and health in adulthood. Findings from this unique study of the long-term effects of war-related trauma have implications for theory and practice.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date3/2/052/28/08

Funding

  • National Institutes of Health: $188,001.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $192,525.00

Fingerprint

Psychology
Health
Social Support
Young Adult
Psychological Models
Wounds and Injuries
Psychological Stress
War-Related Injuries
Anxiety
Parents
Depression
Structural Models
Marital Status
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders
Health Status
Sleep
Quality of Life
Blood Pressure
Education

ASJC

  • Medicine(all)