Cambodian adolescents who survived massive trauma as children were studied to examine the relation of current trauma symptoms to sex, age, trauma exposure, and other current symptoms. Exposure to traumatic life events was expected to be very high, to relate to age and to other symptoms of current psychological functioning. Questionnaires assessed traumatic life events, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other psychiatric symptoms, and current functioning. Results document high levels of stress exposure and current trauma symptoms. Based on self-reports of PTSD symptoms, 37% of the subjects were estimated to fulfill DSM-III-R criteria for PTSD. Trauma symptoms were correlated with exposure (r=.31), although not with symptoms of depressed mood, anxiety, or dissociation. Age was related to high levels of recollected trauma exposure (r=.56). Further studies are needed to identify factors associated with better outcomes and to plot the differential course of PTSD symptom clusters over time.
- Cambodian adolescents
- post-traumatic stress disorder