March 16, 2018 / 12:44 PM
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder among Genocide Survivors in Halabja / Snoor Abbas *

Most studies about the association between PTSD and coping styles have found that more negative coping strategies for dealing with stress show higher levels of PTSD symptoms. There is however limited research on the association between coping strategies, social support, and subsequent stress reactions in adolescents exposed to war trauma. A search of the literature shows only a handful of studies of war exposed adolescents where coping strategies and or social support have been used as predictors of traumatic distress.

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental illness developed after experiencing a traumatic event. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, PTSD symptoms include (1) persistent re-experience of the trauma (e.g., through intrusive memories, nightmares and flashbacks); (2) avoidance of trauma related stimuli; (3) alterations in arousal, such as intense somatic reactions of anxiety; (4) feelings of shame and guilt; and (5) negative beliefs about oneself and the world.

Although PTSD can follow any DSM-IV trauma, certain factors are associated with developing PTSD. Preexisting psychiatric disorders have been found to be risk factors for PTSD after trauma exposure. Anxiety, somatoform, and depressive disorders in particular were found to be associated with risk for developing PTSD. The previous psychiatric diagnoses and family psychiatric diagnoses was associated with PTSD. As summarized by a research, previous sexual assault in women has also been shown to place an individual at a higher risk for PTSD than those not previously exposed to sexual assault. Other risk factors include young age, unemployment, previous trauma, reported childhood abuse, and general childhood adversity.

In our own century, the concept of social support has developed within a number of different disciplines and different theoretical frameworks. Within psychiatry, early ideas on attachment theory, as exemplified in the writings of Bowlby, also referred to in the chapters by Brewin and by Champion in this volume, emphasized the importance of early social relationships, particularly with one parent, in a developmental perspective.

The participant of this study consists of 85 people ,21 of themdid not agree to participate in this research because some of them didn’t havetime, another didn’t want to speak about it, anotherwas not ready to participate as a volunteer. The participant of the study consists of 63 participants; 50.8% of them were Male and 49.2% Female. All of them are Kurdish in nationality and Muslim in religion, their ages were between 30 to 70 years. 1.6% of the participants never married and 88.9% currently married. 14.3% of the participants have full time job. The highest monthly income was 6300000 IDQ. number of family member affected by chemical weapon from 3 people to 15 people, 87.3%people take treatment by their own money, 12.7% of themdo not take treatment by own money, 36.5% others get benefit from government. 12.7% of them live in Ahmad Awa,  46.0% of them in khurmal, 11.1% in Tawela, 4.8% in Byara , 25.4% others in Halabja.

The purpose of this essayis to show the correlation between posttraumatic stress disorder with coping styles and social support among genocide survivors in Halabja with demographical variables, and to find out the correlation between posttraumatic stress disorder with coping styles and social support among genocide survivors in Halabja.


 The result showed that (61.90%) of the participants have score higher than 2.5 on HTQ 41 items, and (74.60%) of the participants have score higher than 2.5 on HTQ 16 items.

About the correlation between PTSD and coping style. The result showed that positive significant correlation between PTSD and (coping style, Spiritual connection, positive, avoidance and mixed efforts) and a negative correlation between PTSD and (positive attitude and seeking social support).

The second aim of this essayis to measure most used coping styles among genocide survivor in Halabja. According to the outcomes of common types of coping style, it has been found that “spiritual connection” was higher than the other types with (M=3.0762) comparing to “positive attitude”, “mixed efforts”, “avoidance”, “seeking social” support” and “passivity types, most often the research the same has result, such as these researches. There’s no research has different result

According to the outcomes of common type of social support, it has been found that “family support” was higher than the other types with (M=4.3095) compering by “friend support”, “significant other” and “total social support” types.

* The main title of the study is “The Correlation between Posttraumatic Stress Disorder with Coping Styles and Social Support among Genocide Survivors in Halabja”

Snoor Abbas Hama Saeed is a Master graduate of clinical psychology