Impact of political violence on the mental health of school children in Egypt

Suaad Moussa, Monira El Kholy, Dalia Enaba, Khadiga Salem, Asmaa Ali, Mohamed Nasreldin, Mohamed Gabal, Maha Emadeldin, Hamdy F. Moselhy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Since the beginning of the Egyptian political conflict, Tahrir Square has been the epicentre of intense political violence. Students attending schools located near this square witnessed and/or directly experienced the consequences of a series of violent events.Aim: This study will investigate the presence of psychiatric symptoms in children attending these schools to explore patterns of responses according to their perceptions of the revolution on their lives, adjusted for, gender and socio-economic status.Method: A descriptive cross-sectional study conducted with 515 Egyptian school children attending government, experimental, and private language schools located within 1 km of Tahrir Square. To assess psychiatric symptoms in these children, a specially designed questionnaire was used to detect, depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and impairments.Results: Children attending schools near Tahrir Square showed high rates of depression, PTSD and anxiety symptoms. The risk factors identified for developing psychiatric symptoms were a negative perception of the effect of the revolution, knowing someone exposed to trauma during the events, female gender and low socio-economic class.Discussion: These results highlight the need for large-scale studies to explore the consequences of ongoing political violence on children and to establish baseline data on the mental health of Egyptian children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-293
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Mental Health
Volume24
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 3 2015

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Egypt
  • PTSD
  • depression
  • political conflict
  • violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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