Connection between the COVID-19 pandemic, war trauma reminders, perceived stress, loneliness, and PTSD in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Alma Jeftić, Gözde Ikizer, Jarno Tuominen, Stavroula Chrona, Raisa Kumaga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In order to gain a better understanding of what happens during the COVID-19 pandemic to those who were previously traumatized, this study investigated perceived stress and severity of PTSD symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic in people who experienced the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was also examined how reminders of past trauma and loneliness instigated by the COVID-19 crisis relate to current stress and PTSD symptoms. The sample consisted of 123 participants (74.8% women). Participants responded to assessments of sociodemographic characteristics, exposure to COVID-related information, concerns over disease, severity of exposure to war, frequency and intensity of war trauma reminders, loneliness, stress, and severity of PTSD symptoms. Data was collected as part of [edited out for blind review] Global Survey. Results showed that in a population previously exposed to the effects of war, severity of PTSD symptoms was positively related to perceived stress, and loneliness during the pandemic significantly mediated this relationship. Intensity of exposure to war trauma reminders was associated with higher levels of PTSD symptom severity. Higher severity of PTSD symptoms was related to forced displacement during the war. Moreover, higher stress was related to increased concerns over disease. To conclude, those exposed to war may be more affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic and preventive measures that accompany it, while loneliness mediates the effects of PTSD and perceived stress in this population.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalCurrent Psychology
Early online date22 Oct 2021
Publication statusEarly online date - 22 Oct 2021


  • Stress
  • Loneliness
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
  • War Trauma
  • Trauma Reminders
  • Covid-19


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