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Sefa Bulut
2010; 25(66):87-98

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The purpose of this research was to investigate the long term effects of earthquakes on children’s PTSD and re- experiencing, avoidance and hyperarousal subsymptoms and their severity and prevalence rates in a longitudinal design. Survivors’ children were given a PTSD scale in April of 2004, 2005, and 2006. The prevalence rates and severity of PTSD were calculated with descriptive statistics. One hundred and forty-fi ve students were compared via repeated measure of ANOVA’s in total PTSD scores, and intrusions, avoidance and hyperarousal sub-symptoms in three point of time. Eta squares was also calculated to see the effect sizes. Polynomial contrast tests were utilized to investigate the trend of longitudinal course of traumatic symptoms. The possible prevalence rates for whole sample were found to be 68 %, 48 %, and 39 %, respectively. According to the years, the prevalence rates for boys were 67%, 47% and 44% and for girls were 69 %, 49 %, and 29 %. Findings revealed a difference among the years. Follow-up polynominal contrast showed a signifi cant linear effect. Pairwaise comparisons were used to detect which means of the year differs from each other. It was observed that there was a signifi cant difference between 1st and 2nd year. Additionally there was a decrease between 1st and 3rd year and between 2nd and 3rd year. Results indicate that PTSD symptoms tend to follow a linear trend and drop off gradually. Although other studies reported similar results, sub-symptoms tend to increase in the 3rd year for boys’ intrusion. Additionally, avoidance symptoms were also more resistant in boys than girls.

Keywords: Longitudinal effects of PTSD, long term prevalence of PTSD and children, chronic PTSD, delayed PTSD, the trends of PTSD and sub-symptoms