Factor analysis of posttraumatic stress disorder in children experienced earthquakes
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There are some countries that because of their situation on disaster prone areas, their children are more at risk than the rest of the world. For example, Turkey is located on the first degree earthquake fault lines and thus Turkish children are at risk for developing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to exposure to the earthquakes and threat of the anticipated earthquakes as well as aftershocks and other post disaster adversaries. Two hundred 41 and 51 grade students were given OSU Child-PTSD Inventory eleven months after the 1999 Marmara earthquakes in the city of Sakarya. The purpose of the present study was to identify items that characterize fundamental dimensions of PTSD as it is demonstrated by Turkish children. The investigation of underlying dimensions of PTSD was assessed with exploratory principal component factor analysis technique. Factor analysis revealed 4 factor solutions, these appear to be: (1) interpersonal and adjustment problems (2) re-experiencing, (3) foreshortened future and (4) anxiety and avoidance. The results indicate that it may be more useful to re-consider the DSM-IV symptoms into four underlying dimensions. Therefore, psychologists and school counselors should consider these various dimensions of PTSD when developing intervention and treatment programs for disaster victims and students in their schools. Cross cultural differences are also need to be taken into account when applying the western-based knowledge in other countries.