Posttraumatic Cognitions and Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms Among War-Affected Children: A Cross-Lagged Analysis

ArticleinJournal of Abnormal Psychology 122(3):656-61 · August 2013with140 Reads
Esa Palosaari at University of Tampere
  • 18.86
  • University of Tampere
Raija-Leena Punamäki at University of Tampere
  • 40.31
  • University of Tampere
Marwan Diab at Gaza Community Mental Health Programme
  • 20.12
  • Gaza Community Mental Health Programme
Samir Qouta at Islamic University of Gaza
  • 31.38
  • Islamic University of Gaza
In a longitudinal study of war-affected children, we tested, first, whether posttraumatic cognitions (PTCs) mediated the relationship between initial and later posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSSs). Second, we analyzed the relative strength of influences that PTCs and PTSSs have on each other in cross-lagged models of levels and latent change scores. The participants were 240 Palestinian children 10-12 years of age, reporting PTSSs and PTCs measures at 3, 5, and 11 months after a major war. Results show that PTCs did not mediate between initial and later PTSSs. The levels and changes in PTCs statistically significantly predicted later levels and changes in PTSSs, but PTSSs did not statistically significantly predict later PTCs. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that PTCs have a central role in the development and maintenance of PTSSs over time, but they do not support the hypothesis that initial PTSSs develop to chronic PTSSs through negative PTCs. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).

Do you want to read the rest of this article?

War and military violence are not healthy for humans and other living creatures: Trauma and life danger can seriously interfere with children’s mental health and socio-emotional and cognitive devel…" [more]
Longitudinal research on war-exposed pregnant and infant families
The advancement of new weapon technology can form severe and uncontrollable impacts on civilian populations. Reports show lethal impacts of new-generation weapons on child health, but scientific kn…" [more]
The study analyses how and why early psychological, familial and medical factors predict development and health in late adolescence. Specifically, we examine predicting trajectories of early parent…" [more]
    We tested the hypothesis that intergenerational effects of parents' war trauma on offspring's attachment and mental health are mediated by psychological maltreatment. Two hundred and forty children and their parents were sampled from a war-prone area, Gaza, Palestine. The parents reported the number and type of traumatic experiences of war they had had during their lifetime before the child's... [Show full abstract]
      Post traumatic cognitions (PTCs) are important determinants of post traumatic stress symptoms (PTS symptoms). We tested whether risk factors of PTS symptoms (trauma, demographics, social and family-related factors) predict PTCs and whether PTCs mediate the association between risk factors and PTS symptoms among war-affected children. The participants were 240 Palestinian children 10-12 years... [Show full abstract]
        We examined the effectiveness of a psychosocial intervention in reducing mental health symptoms among war-affected children, and the role of peritraumatic dissociation in moderating the intervention impact on posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS). School classes were randomized into intervention (n = 242) and waitlist control (n = 240) conditions in Gaza, Palestine. The intervention group... [Show full abstract]
        September 2013 · Social Development
          Social resources are considered important protectors in traumatic conditions, but few studies have analyzed their role in psychosocial interventions among war-affected children. We examined (1) whether a psychosocial intervention (teaching recovery techniques, TRT) is effective in improving peer and sibling relations, and (2) whether these potentially improved relations mediate the... [Show full abstract]
          Discover more