The Psychiatric Effects of Massive Trauma on Cambodian Children: II. The Family, the Home, and the School

WILLIAM H. SACK, RICHARD H. ANGELL, J. DAVID KINZIE, BEN RATH

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Abstract

Forty Cambodian high school students who survived 4 years under the Pol Pot regime (1975–1979) and 6 Cambodian students who escaped their homeland prior to Pol Pot were studied by means of home interviews and school teacher ratings. In these findings, compared to psychiatric interview data on the same subjects, students reported more distress with school grades, peers and themselves than was observed by their caretakers. Many of their family members exhibited similar posttraumatic stress and depressive symptoms. In school, students receiving a psychiatric diagnosis were more likely to be rated by their classroom teachers as withdrawn or daydreaming than as disruptive. The crucial role of the school as a cultural agent of change became strongly evident.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)377-383
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry
Volume25
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1986

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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