Chapter | Oxford Handbook of the Economics of Peace and Conflict | 2012

Mental Health in the Aftermath of Conflict

by Quy-Toan Do and Lakshmi Iyer


We survey the recent literature on the mental health effects of conflict. We highlight the methodological challenges faced in this literature, which include the lack of validated mental health scales in a survey context, the difficulties in measuring individual exposure to conflict, and the issues related to making causal inferences from observed correlations. We illustrate how some of these issues can be overcome in a study of mental health in post-conflict Bosnia and Herzegovina. Mental health is measured using a clinically validated scale; conflict exposure is proxied by administrative data on war casualties instead of being self-reported. We find that there are no significant differences in overall mental health across areas that are affected by ethnic conflict to a greater or lesser degree.

Keywords: Conflict of Interests; Measurement and Metrics; Surveys; Data and Data Sets; Ethnicity; War; Health Disorders; Body of Literature; Problems and Challenges; Bosnia and Hercegovina;


Do, Quy-Toan, and Lakshmi Iyer. "Mental Health in the Aftermath of Conflict." In Oxford Handbook of the Economics of Peace and Conflict, edited by Michelle Garfinkel and Stergios Skaperdas. Oxford University Press, 2012.