Effects of Terrorism on Children: Psychosocial Biological Understanding

  • M. Basheer Ahmed
Keywords: Terrorism, Children, Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome, Depression, Suicide


Terrorism, politically motivated violence directed against noncombatants, is a common occurrence globally. Thousands of children are exposed to trauma and life-threatening situations, and no child is immune to the traumatic effects of terrorism, whether they live in Oklahoma, Bosnia, Iraq, New York, Lebanon, Rwanda, Israel, Palestine, or Dar Fur. They suffer long-term psychological consequences of the trauma. Few research studies have been published addressing the short-term and long-term effect of terrorism on children. Of the studies done, most are on children exposed to trauma in Western countries. Unfortunately, research studies reflecting the experiences of severe trauma and long-term consequences of atrocities on children in the non-Western part of the world are rarely reported in scientific journals or even in media, as if the children who did not die during the terrorist acts do not exist. This article will summarize the research work on diagnoses and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, which is often present in children exposed to trauma and severe life-threatening situations. Special attention is paid to the effects of terrorism on children in Bosnia, Israel, and Palestine.


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