Internalizing and Externalizing Problems in Children of War Veterans in Kosovo

MA. Eglantina Kraja, Dr.Sc. Adelina Ahmeti


The aim of this study was to explore internalizing and externalizing problems in adolescent children of veterans of the war in Kosovo (1998-1999). The results of this study are quite interesting from the perspective of the dilemma for the state of the children of veterans even 15 years after the war ended. Parents’ emotional problems affect the functioning of the family in general and children in particular. Children can react to symptoms of parents by developing different symptoms as trouble sleeping, appetite loss, emotional instability or even problems in development, according to research done on children's reactions to the problems of parents explained by interactions between environment, brain and behaviour driven by trauma.

The results of this study have shown that the internalizing problems have not shown gender differences, meantime externalizing problems were found higher in male participants. An interesting finding of this study was the highest scores of emotional problems in children born before and during the war, compare to those born after the war ended. We also found that anxiety problems in children [R2= .83, p < .001] were a significant predictor of internalizing problems. The assessment of the scale of positive qualities [R2= .19, p < .001] was also found to be a significant predictor for externalizing problems.Only 0.8% of the variance of internalizing problems was explained by the income.

Considering that the subject of this study were adolescent children of war veterans of the 1999 conflict in Kosovo, we must take into account that the post-traumatic stress disorder is a very frequent problem among war veterans and that its impact on their personal and family life cannot be overlooked.


Internalizing; Externalizing; Adolescents; Veterans; Regression; ANOVA; Total of problems;


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DOI: 10.21113/iir.v5i1.25

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