Children in Sri Lanka have been exposed to a lot of stress over the last few years with the tsunami of 2004 being followed by a civil war between the Buddhist Sinhalese in the south and the Muslim Tamils in the North. Two recent studies have looked into the psychological effects of this. In the first study researchers from California State University in Los Angeles, Harvard School of Public Health and Claremont Graduate University studied more than 400 people, aged between 11 and 20, who had survived the tsunami. They found that while the children had been affected by the tsunami and the war more 'everyday' sources of stress such as poverty, family violence and a lack of safe housing also had an effect. Another study carried out by researchers from Bielefeld University in Germany looked at 1,400 Tamil children aged between 9 and 15 living at home or in a temporary shelter for refugees. 80% of the children had been directly affected by the wave and between 60-90% also reported war-related experiences such as bombings or seeing dead bodies. The study found that all the adverse experiences had an effect on the children with very severe exposure to trauma, loss of family members and domestic violence being particularly stressful.
You can find out more about this research by clicking on the link in the title of the post.