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Two Decades Later: The Resilience and Post-Traumatic Responses of Indigenous Quechua Girls and Adolescents in the Aftermath of the Peruvian Armed Conflict

NCJ Number
Child Abuse & Neglect Volume: 37 Issue: 2-3 Dated: February/March 2013 Pages: 200-210
Eliana Barrios Suarez
Date Published
March 2013
11 pages
This study examined the long-term outcomes for resilience and post-traumatic responses for a sample of Quechua women who were adolescents during the Peruvian armed conflict of 1980-1995.
This study found that only 5.3 percent of the Quechua women who were exposed to extreme violence during the Peruvian armed conflict reported current levels of symptoms related to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The study also found that women who had experienced sexual violence as adolescents during the conflict reported significantly higher levels of PTSD-related symptoms. In addition, the study found that while resilience scores and years exposed to conflict were not associated with PTSD-related symptoms, the degree of exposure to war violence as a child and the women's current level of stress were related to the variance in the overall levels of PTSD-related symptoms. These findings indicate the need for post-conflict interventions aimed at improving resilience for persons, particularly women and children, exposed to extreme levels of violence during war. Data for the study was obtained from a sample of Quechua women, n=75, aged 25 to 45 years old, who were exposed to extreme incidences of violence during the Peruvian armed conflict of 1980-1995. The participants completed the Harvard Trauma Questionnaire Part I and IV, the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale, and the Life Stress Questionnaire. The data was analyzed using hierarchical regression analyses to determine the long-term outcomes of PTSD and resilience for the participants. Study limitations are discussed. Tables and references