The effect of conflict-related violence intensity and alcohol use on mental health: the case of Colombia  

Andrea Salas Ortiz*, Rodrigo Moreno Serra, Noemi Kreif, Marc Suhrcke, German Casas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigated the causal impact of conflict-related violence on individual mental health and its potential pathways in Colombia. Using data from before and after the 2016 peace accord between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), we adopted a difference-in-differences empirical design combined with instrumental variables estimation. We also used formal mediation analysis to investigate a possible mediating role of alcohol consumption in the relationship between conflict exposure and mental health. Our results did not support the hypothesis that changes in exposure to conflict violence after the peace accord causally led to any changes in individual mental health. We were unable to identify a statistically significant mediating effect of alcohol consumption in the relationship between exposure to conflict violence and mental health.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101626
Pages (from-to)101626
JournalSSM - Population Health
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by the UK Medical Research Council (MRC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), DFID, and The Wellcome Trust, through the Joint Health Systems Research Initiative (Grant Number MR/ R013667/1 ). The funders of the study had no role in the study design, data collection, data analysis and interpretation, or writing.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Authors


  • Alcohol consumption
  • Colombia
  • Conflict violence
  • Difference-in-Differences
  • IV
  • Mediation analysis
  • Mental health

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