Contents & Abstracts
by Douglas Paton
Little is known about the psychological effects of war service on Australian World War II veterans. Eighty-eight survivors of one of the war's most intense actions responded to a survey asking for their recollections of the battle, and for a description of its affect upon them. Many said that they had yet to recover from the experience. Large numbers indicated continuing ill effects. These included nightmares, sleeplessness, negative imagery, "flashbacks", problems with concentration, weeping, generalized anxiety, and distress caused by situations recalling the battle. Many commented that they had never talked to anyone about their war experiences, or the effects of these experiences. Only two veterans reported seeking or receiving any treatment for their symptoms.
Recent research on impoverishment risks arising out development-induced involuntary population displacement is improving our understanding of rural development processes more generally. Following comparative studies of the process of livelihood destruction and re-establishment dynamics among communities resettled as a result of planned development and war, this article develops a methodological framework for post-disaster reconstruction research. Combining recent Sustainable Livelihoods Research and the concept of Impoverishment Risks and Reconstruction, it argues that a focus on institutions and sustainability will help shape research to better understand the impacts of disasters and induced-displacement processes on the livelihoods of affected populations.
Following a crisis in Fiji in which political hostages were taken, interviews were held with some of the Parliamentarians and staff that were released early, and visits were paid to the families of those still detained. Clinically in both groups trauma was very much in evidence, with supporting psychometric scores above those of a normative group of controls. Those with a diagnostic condition of either ASD or PTSD scored significantly higher than their counterparts on the GHQ20, the HSCL21, and the IES. The Fijian participants scored higher than the others, and the males scored higher than the females. Yet the manifest strength that participants drew from their religious beliefs suggests the outcome might have been worse had they not been so devout. At the same time many expressed a deep sense of outrage that drew attention to social justice as a basic psychological need. In conducting the research, cross-cultural and inter-organisational problems were encountered, with the former proving more manageable than the latter.
Massey University, New Zealand
Last changed November