Psychological effects on children and adolescents exposed to armed conflict in a rural area of Colombia

Nohelia Hewitt Ramírez, Carlos Andrés Gantiva Díaz, Anderssen Vera Maldonado, Mónica Paulina Cuervo Rodríguez, Hernández Olaya Nelly Liliam, Fernando Juárez, Arturo José Parada Baños

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Abstract

Psychological effects were determined in 284 children and adolescents exposed to armed conflict in a rural area of Colombia, selected through random sampling proportional allocation. The instruments applied were: The Child Behavior Checklist, the Youth Behavior Self-report, the Trauma Symptoms Checklist for Children, the Coping Scale for Adolescents and the Resilience Scale for School Children. Findings showed that 72% of the population suffers from psychological problems, 64.4 from internalizing behavior and 47% from externalizing behavior within clinical range. It was also found that 32% had somatic problems, 56% were at risk for PTSD and 93% had moderate alcohol consumption. The most frequently used coping strategy was to leave things get fixed by themselves. There was a high need for health care. Being male constituted a risk factor for depression, aggression and social problems in children. In turn, being up to12 years old and a student of a lower grade were risk factors for somatic symptoms in adolescents. Results clearly revealed the impact on mental health of the population under study.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-89
Number of pages11
JournalActa Colombiana de Psicologia
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

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Hewitt Ramírez, N., Gantiva Díaz, C. A., Vera Maldonado, A., Cuervo Rodríguez, M. P., Nelly Liliam, H. O., Juárez, F., & Parada Baños, A. J. (2014). Psychological effects on children and adolescents exposed to armed conflict in a rural area of Colombia. Acta Colombiana de Psicologia, 17 (1), 79-89. https://doi.org/10.14718/ACP.2014.17.1.9, https://doi.org/10.14718/ACP.2014.17.1.9