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Determinants of Psychological Problems among Widows Living under the Long Civil Unrest in the Southernmost Provinces of Thailand

Wattana Prohmpetch, Phattrawan Tongkumchum and Rhysa McNeil

Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science, Volume 31, Issue 4, December 2023


Keywords: Civil unrest, psychological problems, widows

Published on: 13 December 2023

People in the deep south region of Thailand have experienced civil unrest since 2004, and widows from the conflict have been severely stressed and faced various psychological problems. This study aims to investigate psychological problems and examine factors affecting the psychological problems among these widows. The psychological problems are post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), complicated grief (CG), and depression. The study’s sample consisted of 350 widows who voluntarily participated in the interviews and completed the questionnaires. PTSD symptom scale-interview version assesses post-traumatic stress disorder, and the complicated grief is measured using the inventory of the complicated grief, and the depression is evaluated with the Hamilton rating scale for depression (Thai version). The results indicate that the respondents had a high post-traumatic stress disorder state (M = 21, SD = 13.8), a high complicated grief state (M = 28.56, SD = 19.69), but a low depression state (M = 5.48, SD = 5.70). Thirty-two percent of the samples fulfilled the criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder, 48% for complicated grief, and 26.6% for depression. The factors significantly affecting post-traumatic stress disorder, complicated grief, and depression are low resilience, high external stressors, and the quality of life. However, the results should be interpreted with caution due to the risk of biases of the sensitive nature of the study. Therefore, to better understand the risks and protective factors of post-traumatic stress disorder, complicated grief, and depression of the bereaved widows, significantly different factors should be considered.

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