M. De Schryver
- Unpacking constructs: a network approach for studying war exposure, daily stressors and post-traumatic stress disorder
- Frontiers in Psychology
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- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Conflict-affected populations are exposed to stressful events during and after war, and it is well established that both take a substantial toll on individuals’ mental health. Exactly how exposure to events during and after war affect mental health is a topic of considerable debate. Various hypotheses have been put forward on the relation between stressful war exposure (SWE), daily stressors (DS) and the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This paper seeks to contribute to this debate by critically reflecting upon conventional modeling approaches and by advancing an alternative model to studying interrelationships between SWE, DS, and PTSD variables. The network model is proposed as an innovative and comprehensive modeling approach in the field of mental health in the context of war. It involves a conceptualization and representation of variables and relationships that better approach reality, hence improving methodological rigor. It also promises utility in programming and delivering mental health support for war-affected populations.
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