Mental health problems, family functioning and social support among children survivors of Colombia’s armed conflict

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Title: Mental health problems, family functioning and social support among children survivors of Colombia’s armed conflict
Authors: Sánchez-Villegas, MilgenReyes-Ruiz, LizethTaylor, Laura K.Pérez-Ruíz, Natalia AndreaCarmona-Alvarado, Farid Alejandro
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Date: 19-Feb-2021
Online since: 2021-05-12T10:24:51Z
Abstract: Purpose - Colombia has one of the largest armed conflict in the world. Children exposed directly or indirectly to armed conflicts lives the emotional footprints left by war. This study identified mental health problems among children survivors of Colombia’s armed conflict and associated factors. Design/methodology/approach – A cross-sectional study with (n=80) children aged 7 to 11 years (M=9.8 years; SD= 1.4) was conducted using the Child Behavior Checklist, Family APGAR and MOS social support survey adaptation to children. Linear regression analyses were also performed with emotional and behavioral problems as the outcomes and related factors as the predictors. Findings - Clinical levels of emotional and behavioral problems were found in 56.3% of children. Internalizing problems (63.7%) were more common than externalizing problems (51.2%). Older children had greater emotion problems, at the trend level, and those with higher functioning families had lower emotion problems. Children with higher perceived social support had lower behavior problems, at the trend level. Research limitations/implications - This study includes a sample facing multiple risks and uses a holistic approach to consider family and social resources that may support children who are survivors of the armed conflict in Colombia. These results provide a foundation for future promotion and prevention programs related to children’s mental health problems in order to support peacebuilding within the framework of the Colombian post conflict process. Originality/value – To the best of authors’ knowledge, this is the first study to collect empirical data on the mental health of children survivors of Colombia’s armed conflict focused in the Atlantic Department.
Funding Details: Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación – Minciencias, Gobernación del Atlántico
Formación de Capital Humano de Alto Nivel para las Regiones – Atlántico 2018
Universidad Simón Bolívar in Barranquilla, Colombia
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Emerald
Journal: Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research
Volume: 13
Issue: 1
Start page: 61
End page: 72
Copyright (published version): 2021 Emerald
Keywords: Mental health problemsFamily functioningSocial supportInternalizing problemsExternalizing problemsChildrenArmed conflictColumbia
DOI: 10.1108/JACPR-08-2020-0535
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
ISSN: 1759-6599
This item is made available under a Creative Commons License:
Appears in Collections:Psychology Research Collection

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