Home Psychological problems in the context of political violence in Afghan children

Since 2021, the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan has worsened and many questions related to the current mental health of Afghan children remain. Conflict related deaths have declined, however, psychological impacts on the mental health of Afghan children in the context of endemic political violence remain significant.

Empirically, addressing these questions is an imperative as child mental health has been identified as a humanitarian priority, and the needs of children in humanitarian settings continue to receive insufficient attention in the field of psychology and psychiatry.

This review therefore aimed to provide a current overview of recent literature examining psychological problems, in the context of political violence, in Afghan children. The authors defined children and adolescents as those aged 0–24 years.

Firstly, they outline the main psychological problems experienced by Afghan children and adolescents. Secondly, they provide a review of the recent literature examining these psychological problems. They then offer personal observations, based on our work and provide a conclusion with recommendations.

‘Psychological Problems in the Context of Political Violence in Afghan Children’ was first published in Current Psychiatry Reports on April 2, 2024. Download the PDF [opens in a new window]

Image: Reza* is 13 years old and lives with his extended family in a single room home made from mud in Jawzjan province, northern Afghanistan. They don’t have access to clean water, a permanent health clinic or a school in the community – the nearest facilities are in the city, a full day’s walk away. Reza has never been to school and is the main breadwinner for his extended family. Credit: Sacha Myers / Save the Children 2022

Academic contributors