Childhood Adversities and Traumata in Lebanon: A National Study

Clinical Practice & Epidemiology in Mental Health 21 Oct 2014 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1745017901410010116


Background: The goal of this paper is to map the total occurrence and evaluate the risk of co-occurrence of childhood adversities (CA) and a wide variety of childhood traumatic events (including war) in a national sample. Method: The nationally representative sample included 2,857 respondents and the instrument used was the Composite International Diagnostic Interview which screened for all CAs and traumatic events. Results: 27.9% experienced CAs; the most common were parental death and parental mental/substance use disorder. 70.6% experienced a war-related traumatic event during their lifetime, and around half of them (38.1%) experienced it below the age of 18 years. 51.3% of the subjects experienced a traumatic event not related to war during their lifetime, and 19.2% experienced it before the age of 18 years. Sexual abuse, being a refugee during war, and experiencing a natural disaster were associated with female gender. Having any CA was associated with active war exposure (OR: 4.2, CI: 2.0-8.6); war-related direct personal trauma (OR: 3.9, CI: 1.5-10.0); war-related trauma to others (OR: 2.4, CI: 1.3-4.4); non-war direct personal trauma (OR: 3.8, CI: 2.0-7.4); and any non-war childhood traumatic event (OR: 1.9, CI: 1.1-3.1). Conclusion:Childhood is awash with adversities and traumatic events that co-occur and should be measured simultaneously; otherwise, the effects of a subset of traumata or adversities could be wrongly thought to be the contributor to negative outcomes under study.

Keywords: Adolescence, Childhood, Childhood adversities, Lebanon, Traumatic events, War trauma. .
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