Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Sri Lankan children affected by war, tsunami, daily stressors

15.07.2010
Two studies on children in Sri Lanka who survived the 2004 tsunami and ongoing civil war there found that it's not these stressful events alone that contributed to the youths' psychological health, but also daily stressors like domestic violence that are exacerbated by traumatic events and continue after the disasters.

The studies appear in a special section on children and disaster in the July/August 2010 issue of the journal Child Development.

The first study, by researchers at California State University, Los Angeles, Harvard School of Public Health, and Claremont Graduate University, looked at more than 400 Sri Lankan youths ages 11 to 20 who survived the tsunami. Researchers who work in areas where people have been harmed by disasters often focus solely on the impact of direct exposure to the disaster. This study argues that it's important also to consider the role of everyday stressors that continue after a disaster.

Specifically, the study found that while war and disaster have had a direct effect on the youths' psychological health, poverty, family violence, and lack of safe housing also represent major sources of continuing stress.

"By making sure not to miss the importance of ongoing stressors in youths' daily lives, our study highlights the need for holistic policies and programs that focus on reducing these current stressors," notes Gaithri A. Fernando, associate professor of psychology at California State University, Los Angeles, who led the study.

The second study was conducted by researchers at Bielefeld University, the University of Minnesota, the Vivo Foundation, and the University of Konstanz; Bielefeld University and the University of Konstanz are in Germany. This epidemiological study looked at almost 1,400 Tamil children ages 9 to 15 living at home or in a temporary shelter for refugees. The researchers used data from four cross-sectional studies done from 2002 to 2006. The data were collected by former teachers trained as counselors to help traumatized children, with supervision by members of the research team.

Children in this study had been affected by both armed conflict and a natural disaster, and many also coped with domestic violence. The researchers sought to determine what happens when risk factors accumulate.

Eighty percent of the children interviewed after the tsunami had been directly affected by the tidal wave, with many telling tales of struggling in the water. Sixty to 90 percent of the children also reported war-related experiences, such as witnessing bombings or seeing dead bodies.

The study found that all of the adverse experiences contributed significantly to the children's difficulties adapting. Particularly stressful were very severe exposure to trauma, loss of family members, and domestic violence.

As a group, children are the most vulnerable to the harmful long-term psychological consequences of violence and destruction. This study can inform those developing programs to help traumatized youngsters.

Summarized from Child Development, Vol. 81, Issue 4, Growing Pains: The Impact of Disaster-Related and Daily Stressors on the Psychological and Psychosocial Functioning of Youth in Sri Lanka by Fernando, GA (California State University, Los Angeles), Miller, KE (formerly with Harvard School of Public Health, now with Medicins Sans Frontieres), and Berger, DE (Claremont Graduate University) and Tsunami, War, and Cumulative Risk in the Lives of Sri Lankan Schoolchildren by Catani, C (Bielefeld University), Gewirtz, AH, Wieling, E (University of Minnesota), Schauer, E (The Vivo Foundation), Elbert, T (University of Konstanz), and Neuner, F (Bielefeld University). Copyright 2010 The Society for Research in Child Development, Inc. All rights reserved.

Sarah Hutcheon | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.srcd.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

nachricht Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>