The association between terrorist attacks and mental health: evidence from Nigeria

Joseph B. Ajefu, Soazic Elise Wang Sonne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examines the relationship between the Boko Haram conflict in Northeast Nigeria and the mental health of heads of households. The information on depressive symptoms (as a proxy for mental health) of household heads was collected using the Centre of Epidemiological Studies Short Depression Scale (CESD-10). The information on household coordinates provided in the 2015 wave of the Nigerian General Household Survey (GHS) was used to measure households’ exposure to violent conflict through the number of conflict attacks as well as the number of fatalities within a local government area. To explore the pathways of the association between conflict and depressive symptoms, we employed mediation analysis to unpack mechanisms such as unemployment, illness or injury, and food security as potential channels through which violent conflict is associated with depressive symptoms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalOxford Development Studies
Early online date6 May 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 May 2022


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