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Afghan children at risk

20 July, 2009

Copyright UNICEF Iran

Photo: Haoori Arkawazi. Copyright UNICEF Iran.

Afghan children children are exposed to war time stressors on a daily basis, and are consequently at risk for developing Post-traumatic stress disorder, new research finds.

Dr. Claudia Catani from the University of Bielefeld, has lead a research that conducted clinical interviews with approximately three-hundred Afghan school children.

It is the first research to address the psychological needs of Afghan children has been published in the Journal on Traumatic Stress, according to Wiley-Blackwell.

Her research states that children who live in Afghanistan are affected by war time stressors such as child labour, trauma, family and military violence on a daily basis. This increases their likelihood of developing Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“The interplay of these stressors contributes to a higher vulnerability in the children frequently exposed to traumatic experiences.”

The study found that at least half of the children who had experienced a traumatic life event in these circumstances, had developed PTSD.

In addition, the study identified strong gender differences, boys were more exposed to traumatic life events than girls.

Read more: Afghani children suffering from post-traumatic stress.

The Foundation has recently funded two Iranian-based projects which will be interviewing Afghan children in Iran.