Aug 1, 1977

War stress and civilian Vietnamese. A study of psychological effects

Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica
J M Murphy


Psychological disturbance, measured by Macmillan's Health Opinion Survey, was assessed among 102 evacuees from a battlefront in South Vietnam. The amount of stress experienced was estimated by means of Cantril's Self-Anchoring Scale as well as by indicators of economic disadvantage associated with herbicide spraying and of family break-up by military service and casualties. Through comparative analysis with other groups in Vietnam and elsewhere, it is shown that the evacuees display a higher level of emotional disturbance than any group to whom they can be compared except for a sample of Vietnamese prisoners of war. The levels of disturbance exhibited by the evacuees are in turn correlated with indicators of various kinds and combinations of war stress. It is suggested that women who were bereft of a husband or son and who experienced economic reverses were especially vulnerable. The psychological response most characteristic of the evaucuated men and women has features similar to clinical depression, and it appears not to have been short-lived or transient.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Opinion Surveys
Psychosexual Disorders
Mental Suffering
Shell Shock
Anchoring Activity

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