War Events Questionnaire (WEQ)

A measurement tool that assesses the degree of war exposure in children. The tool aims to differentiate itself from others by providing an individualized objective and subjective assessment of war exposure outcomes in populations exposed to the same war. The WEQ addresses a variety of war events common to all wars, regardless of context or location, and is divided into two parts: Part One, which contains four items and asks about the frequency of exposure to various war events (i.e. physical injury and building damage), both in the respondent and anyone “very close” to the respondent (i.e. family member, neighbor, friend, etc.); Part Two, which is optional, contains six items that assess the level of perceived stress to various events resulting from a war (i.e. water shortage, electricity outages, displacement, etc.). Also in Part Two,the respondent rates his/her perception of stress to the events that he/she reported exposure to in Part One. This is rated from one (“War Event had No Effect”) to 10 (“War Event was Very Dreadful”). In Part One, up to five blank spaces are available for the respondent to answer questions about the occurrence of each event, meaning that in some respondents it is possible that they will have been exposed, and/or a “very close” person will have been exposed multiple times to an event, and will require a report on each occurrence of the same event. Each question contains its own response codes and numerical response values, allowing for independent measurements for each exposure event. The scores in Part Two are not cumulative. The entire scale is scored from 0 to 10,000, with higher numbers indicative of higher levels of exposure to war events and perceived stress resulting from these events. The WEQ should be administered by interviewers who, while not requiring a clinical or professional degree, have received detailed training on the tool prior to administration.

Related Publications

Karam, E., Fayyad, J.,Karam, A. N., Tabet, C. C., Melhem, N., Mneimneh, Z., & Dimassi, H. (2008). Effectiveness and specificity of a classroom-based group intervention in children and adolescents exposed to war in Lebanon. World Psychiatry, 7(2), 103-109.

What it measures

Violence exposure, Trauma exposure





Karam, E. G., Al-Atrash, R., Saliba, S., Melhem, N., & Howard, D. (1999). The War Events Questionnaire. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 34(5), 265-274.