Peculiarities of Mental and Behavioral Disorders in Children Released from Iraqi Prison



The article provides data from a survey of 61 children (members of families of militants of the Islamic State terrorist organization) released from an Iraqi prison. Mental, psychological and behavioral disorders identified during clinical and psychological examination are described. The role of multiple psycho-traumatic factors in the construction of mental disorders in children who are forced to stay in a zone of local military conflict for a long time and survived heavy losses is shown. Based on the results, 6 groups were identified, united by similar symptoms and gender-age characteristics. It is noted that such general psychodynamic trends as a delay in psychophysical development and pedagogical neglect come to the fore, accompanied by situationally caused anxiety-depressive reactions provoked by additional psycho-traumatic factors (separation from mother, change of habitual settings and environment). The necessity of taking into account the religious, ethical and ethno-cultural characteristics in the examination and development of a set of rehabilitation measures for these children is shown. Attention is focused on the difficulties of adaptation and rehabilitation of this population in a society which is new for them, constant dynamic monitoring of the examined is justified.

General Information

Keywords: mental and behavioral disorders, children, psychological trauma, zone of military conflicts, separation from mother, psychophysical development delay, pedagogical desolateness.

Journal rubric: Forensic and Clinical Psychology in Legal Context

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Zakharova N., Milekhina A.V. Peculiarities of Mental and Behavioral Disorders in Children Released from Iraqi Prison [Elektronnyi resurs]. Psikhologiya i pravo = Psychology and Law, 2019. Vol. 9, no. 4, pp. 225–235. DOI: 10.17759/psylaw.2019090416. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Natalya Zakharova, PhD in Medicine, senior researcher of the Department of urgent psychiatry and the help at emergency situations, Federal State Budgetary Institution "V. Serbsky Federal Medical Research Centre for Psychiatry and Narcology" of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Alla V. Milekhina, PhD in Medicine, Senior Research Fellow, Department of Urgent Psychiatry and Emergency Assistance, “V. Serbsky National Medical Research Centre for Psychiatry and Narcology” of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, Moscow, Russia, e-mail:



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