An investigation of trauma symptoms among the University of Zululand students

  • Vusi Clearance Mathe
  • Charmain Mmampoi Dineo Mogashoa


Few epidemiological studies on exposure to traumatic events and traumatic symptoms amongst tertiary students have been conducted in South Africa. The research topic investigates the traumatic symptoms among students at the University of Zululand. The aim and objectives of the study are as follows: To identify the exposure to traumatic events, To identify the self-reported symptoms of trauma by students, To evaluate the level of awareness on exposure to traumatic event and symptoms of PTSD, To evaluate the knowledge that students have on traumatic ev ents and symptoms of PTSD, To evaluate whether students consider using psychological services when exposed to traumatic events. The study tested the hypotheses that exposure to traumatic events can lead to development of trauma symptoms, lack of knowledge on traumatic incidents and lack of awareness about the trauma symptoms can disallow the student from seeking psychological intervention. A quantitative study was conducted using a non -probability sampling technique and a convenient sample was applied based on students’ availability and willingness to participate. A sample of two-hundred (n=200) students was selected and consisted of females (n=73) and males (n=128). The research measurement was a self-developed instrument based on the traumatic symptoms. The questionnaire consisted of 54 closed-end questions and its aim was to measure and assess trauma symptoms, various interventions accessible, awareness of trauma symptoms, exposure to traumatic events and knowledge of trauma among students. Demographic information was included in the questionnaire to gather biographical information such as gender, age, level of education, population group and marital status. The data were entered into the Statistical Program for the Social Sciences (SPSS v21). Descriptive data analysis and frequency distributions were used to analyse and interpret data statistically in a graphical representation.


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eISSN: 1596-9231