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War trauma and psychopathology in Bosnian refugee children


This paper describes the pattern of psychopathology in a sample of 95 children of 8–13 years, who had experienced war in Bosnia. The children were assessed with a battery of standardised measures during a psychosocial support programme in Northern Greece. They either came from refugee families (44%) or had suffered significant family loss (a parent had been killed in 28% and the father was injured or absent in 27% of cases). Children recalled a substantial number of war traumatic experiences. According to previously established cut-off scores on self-report measures, 45 children (47%) scored within the clinical range on the Depression Self-Rating Scale for Children, 28 (23%) on the Revised Children's Manifest Anxiety Scale, and 65 (28%) on the Impact of Event Scale (IES) measuring PTSD reactions. There was a significant association between the number of war traumatic experiences and the intrusion and avoidance scores on the IES. The findings are discussed in relation to setting up intervention programmes for children victims of war and their families.

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Accepted: 15 November 1999

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Papageorgiou, V., Frangou-Garunovic, A., Iordanidou, R. et al. War trauma and psychopathology in Bosnian refugee children. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 9, 84–90 (2000).

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  • Key words Psychopathology
  • child
  • war trauma
  • refugee
  • Bosnia