Does Perpetrating Violence Damage Mental Health? : Differences Between Forcibly Recruited and Voluntary Combatants in DR Congo

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Journal of Traumatic Stress. 2013, 26(1), pp. 142-148. ISSN 0894-9867. eISSN 1573-6598. Available under: doi: 10.1002/jts.21770
Zusammenfassung

As a consequence of the ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), combatants are constantly involved in various forms of violence. Findings concerning the impact of perpetrating violence on mental health are contradictory, ranging from increasing to buffering the risk for mental ill health. The present study investigated the impact of perpetrating violence on mental health. In total, 204 forcibly recruited and voluntary male combatants (mean age = 24.61 years) from different armed groups in the eastern DRC took part in the study. In a semistructured interview, respondents were questioned about appetitive aggression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as well as self-experienced violence and self-perpetrated violent offending. A multivariate analysis of variance (η2 = .23) revealed that voluntary combatants perpetrated more violent acts (η2 = .06) and showed higher appetitive aggression η2 = .03). A moderated multiple regression analysis (R2 = .20) showed that perpetrating violence was positively related to PTSD in forcibly recruited combatants, but not in voluntary combatants. Thus, perpetrating violence may not necessarily qualify as a traumatic stressor. Further studies might consider assessing the combatant’s perception of committing violent acts.

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Fachgebiet (DDC)
150 Psychologie
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ISO 690HECKER, Tobias, Katharin HERMENAU, Anna MAEDL, Harald HINKEL, Maggie SCHAUER, Thomas ELBERT, 2013. Does Perpetrating Violence Damage Mental Health? : Differences Between Forcibly Recruited and Voluntary Combatants in DR Congo. In: Journal of Traumatic Stress. 2013, 26(1), pp. 142-148. ISSN 0894-9867. eISSN 1573-6598. Available under: doi: 10.1002/jts.21770
BibTex
@article{Hecker2013-02Perpe-22645,
  year={2013},
  doi={10.1002/jts.21770},
  title={Does Perpetrating Violence Damage Mental Health? : Differences Between Forcibly Recruited and Voluntary Combatants in DR Congo},
  number={1},
  volume={26},
  issn={0894-9867},
  journal={Journal of Traumatic Stress},
  pages={142--148},
  author={Hecker, Tobias and Hermenau, Katharin and Maedl, Anna and Hinkel, Harald and Schauer, Maggie and Elbert, Thomas}
}
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