Daily Stressors, War Experiences, and Mental Health in Afghanistan

Working in Afghanistan’s capital city of Kabul, the authors assessed the relative contribution of daily stressors and war-related experiences of violence and loss to levels of depression, PTSD, impaired functioning, and a culturally specific measure of general psychological distress. For women, daily stressors were a better predictor than war experiences of all mental health outcomes except for PTSD; for men, daily stressors were a better predictor of depression and functional impairment, while war experiences and daily stressors were similarly predictive of general distress. For men, daily stressors moderated the relationship between war experiences and PTSD, which was significant only under conditions of low daily stress. The study’s implications for research and intervention in conflict and post-conflict settings are considered.

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