Date of Award

January 2012

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Kaveh Khoshnood

Second Advisor

Catherine Panter-Brick


Objective: To assess the impact of caregiver mental health on child mental health in two samples of Afghan families living in Peshawar, Pakistan and Kabul, Afghanistan.

Methods: Using stratified random-sampling in five schools throughout seven refugee camps located in Peshawar, Pakistan, mental health and life events of 319 11-to 16-year old students (n=161 boys, 158 girls) and their caregivers (n=319) were evaluated in 2005 cross-sectional study. Self- and caregiver- rated child mental health (Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire), depressive (Depression Self-Rating Scale), and posttraumatic stress (Child Revised Impact of Events Scale) symptoms and caregiver mental health (Self-Report Questionnaire) were assessed. Past-year traumatic exposures were also assessed. These data from Peshawar were contrasted against mental health data collected from another cross-sectional sample of 364 11- to 16-year old students (n = 180 boys, 184 girls) and their caregivers (n=364) living in nine school districts of Kabul, Afghanistan in 2006.

Results: Caregiver mental health as measured by SRQ-20 scores was significantly associated with the full spectrum of child mental health outcomes, but more so in Kabul than in Peshawar. Caregiver SRQ-20 scores were also associated with greater child mental health burdens significantly more so in Kabul than in Peshawar. Several gender differences were observed in Peshawar (more boys had PTSD than girls, p-value 0.0231), but in Kabul there were no significant gender differences.


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access