When children are exposed to traumatic events, they might develop many physical and psychological symptoms that need immediate intervention in order to alleviate further adverse consequences.
The overall aim of this study is to assess the impact of political violence on behavioral problems, anxiety and depression among the Palestinian children in Gaza Strip. This has also been carried out through taking into consideration some other factors; i.e. gender, age, educational level of the mother, family income, place of residence and periods of exposure.
Analytical study was carried out a sample of 130 Palestinian children aged from 9 - 16 years (elementary and preparatory school stages) living in Gaza Strip. These children were assessed during the second school semester using structured self-report questionnaire for possible types of behavioral problems, anxiety and depression as a result of the traumatic events they were exposed to. Rutter's behavioral problem scale for children, Beck's depression scale and Reynolds anxiety scale were used in the study.
1.It was found that 23.8 % of the children in the case group suffer from a high level of anxiety which needs therapy.
2.By looking at the results, we can see that 18.8% of the children suffer from depression and they need intervention.
3.It was found that 88% of the children whose ages ranged from (9-12) suffered from various kinds of behavioral problems and neurotic symptoms and they need psychological help.
4.Comparing the case group and control group whose ages ranged between 13 and 16 years, we can see that the case group (high trauma) got high scores on anxiety than the control group (low trauma) (t value=4.2 P-value < 0.001).
5.Comparing the case group and control group whose ages ranged between 13 and 16 we can see that the case group (high trauma) got high scores on depression scale than the control group (low trauma) (t value=4.5 P-value < 0.001).
6.It was found that the educational level of the mother was one of the factors that was related to behavioral problems and neurotic symptoms among children. The differences were significant between preparatory and secondary children.
7.By looking to the results, we can find that gender as one of the variables which was examined with its relationship with anxiety and depression was not significant.
8.Periods of exposure were not significant with their relationship with anxiety, depression and behavioral problems in all groups.