Long-term consequences of political imprisonment and torture in Estonia

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REBASSOO, Piret, 2009. Long-term consequences of political imprisonment and torture in Estonia [Bachelor thesis]

@mastersthesis{Rebassoo2009Longt-10425, title={Long-term consequences of political imprisonment and torture in Estonia}, year={2009}, author={Rebassoo, Piret} }

deposit-license 2009 2011-03-25T09:17:28Z application/pdf The present study aims to examine long-term consequences of political repression during the Soviet occupation of Estonia. Psychopathological variables such as diagnoses of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depression as well as positive results -conceptualized as â posttraumatic growthâ - were assessed in this study. Assessment of factors related to onset and retention of PTSD symptoms included individual characteristics, objective and subjective detention-related variables, lifetime exposure to traumatic events and aspects of environment after imprisonment. In addition, satisfaction with current reparation services in the Republic of Estonia was explored.<br />The sample consisted of a group of former political prisoners (N = 33, mean age 78.5 years) who had been arrested during the second Soviet occupation in Estonia (1944-1991). The participants were selected through organizations for former political prisoners. PTSD and major depression were assessed by means of a structured clinical interview (CIDI). Self-rating measures were used to assess the traumatic conditions during imprisonment, rate level of disclosure about traumatic experiences, measure satisfaction with reparation services and determine posttraumatic growth.<br />Lifetime PTSD was diagnosed in 9.4 % of participants, current PTSD in 3.1 % and current depression in 9.4 % of the sample. The strongest predictor for current and lifetime PTSD symptoms was the perceived life threat during imprisonment. Persecution after release also predicted the maintenence of PTSD symptoms. Higher age of participants, higher frequency of traumatic encounters, political activity of the participants prior to arrest and disclosure about traumatic events were related to higher PTSD symptom level. The overall satisfaction with reparation as well as the posttraumatic growth index was high in this sample.<br />These findings suggest that the long-term psychological consequences of political imprisonment which persist into old age are related to a number of factors. The possible reasons for low rates of PTSD in this sample are discussed in the context of PTSD risk factors with emphasis given to the possible role of psychological preparedness, disclosure and social support. Limitations concerning recruitment bias, long-term interval between imprisonment and data collection and cross-sectional nature of the study are also discussed. Long-term consequences of political imprisonment and torture in Estonia eng Rebassoo, Piret 2011-03-25T09:17:28Z Rebassoo, Piret

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