Risk factors for the development of PTSD and depression among child and adolescent victims following a 7.4 magnitude earthquake

Eksi A., Braun K. L. , Ertem-Vehid H., Peykerli G., Saydam R. , Toparlak D., ...More

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY IN CLINICAL PRACTICE, vol.11, no.3, pp.190-199, 2007 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 11 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/13651500601017548
  • Page Numbers: pp.190-199


Objective. PTSD and major depression occur frequently following traumatic exposure, both as separate disorders and concurrently. Although much of Turkey is under threat of severe earthquakes, risk factors for developing psychiatric disorders among Turkish children have not yet been studied. The aim of the study was to examine risk factors for PTSD and depression develpoment in children. Method. A total of 160 survivors ( 102 girls and 58 boys) severely impacted by Turkey's 7.4-magnitude quake participated in a psychiatric interview 6-20 weeks after the disaster. The mean age was 14.43. Logistic regression was used to test effects of pre-disaster, disaster-related and post-disaster factors on diagnoses, yielding odds ratios ( OR). Results. CAPS indicated that 96 (60%) had PTSD, and psychiatric interview found 49 (31%) with depression. Children diagnosed with PTSD were more likely to have witnessed death ( OR = 2.47) and experienced an extreme parental reaction ( OR = 3.45). Children with depression were more likely to be male ( OR = 4.48), have a higher trait anxiety score ( OR = 1.12 for every additional point), sustain injury ( OR = 4.29), and have lost a family member in the quake ( OR = 10.96). Focusing on the 96 children with PTSD, those with comorbid depression were more likely male, have a higher trait anxiety score, and have lost of family member. Conclusions. Mental health professionals should offer support to children witnessing death or losing a family member in a disaster. The ability of the family to remain calm and reassuring also may be a key factor in preventing PTSD.