Effect of Warfare and Forced Displacement on Mental Health of Children

Document Type : Review Article


1 Department of Education and Counseling, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Islamic Azad University, Central Branch, Tehran, Iran

2 Teacher, Department of Education, Tehran, Iran.

3 Student Research Committee, Qazvin University of Medical Sciences, Gazvin, Iran.



Background and aims: Outbreaks of Violence and traumas cause mortality, disability, and imperceptible psychological damage to children. Living in conflict zones such as Middle Eastern countries, especially Gaze, forced displacement, and migration, can develop the risk for expansive mental health disorders. This study aimed to overview on the effects of warfare and forced displacement on mental health of children.
Methods: Articles from databases such as PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science were included regarding mental health disorders in children. Keywords and terms included appropriate combinations of mental health, posttraumatic stress disorder, anxiety, stress, posttraumatic stress disorder, PTSD, child, children, risk, war, flight, prediction, or predisposition.
Results: Studies showed that children exposed to trauma demonstrate a broad spectrum of potential PTSD, depression, distress, and aggressive behaviors. The physical and mental consequence of traumatic events such as war is connected to the severity of the trauma, time, and the influence of the stressors and support procedures post-trauma. War and displacement can expose children who are weak to early marriage, sexual violence, and harassment. So, daily stressors can trigger other mental health disorders such as PTSD, depression, and sexual disorders.
Conclusion: There is no doubt that Middle Eastern countries, especially Gaze, that have suffered from war and forced displacement require agencies with specialists, funding, and supplies to equip them with their essential requirements, social help, and suitable screening. Also, developing rehabilitation schedules with approvingly enlightened professionals is essential to equip people with adequate coping procedures and societal re-involvement.