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Psychiatry. 2002 Fall;65(3):207-39.

60,000 disaster victims speak: Part I. An empirical review of the empirical literature, 1981-2001.

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  • 1Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA, USA. fnorris@gsu.edu

Abstract

Results for 160 samples of disaster victims were coded as to sample type, disaster type, disaster location, outcomes and risk factors observed, and overall severity of impairment. In order of frequency, outcomes included specific psychological problems, nonspecific distress, health problems, chronic problems in living, resource loss, and problems specific to youth. Regression analyses showed that samples were more likely to be impaired if they were composed of youth rather than adults, were from developing rather than developed countries, or experienced mass violence (e.g., terrorism, shooting sprees) rather than natural or technological disasters. Most samples of rescue and recovery workers showed remarkable resilience. Within adult samples, more severe exposure, female gender, middle age, ethnic minority status, secondary stressors, prior psychiatric problems, and weak or deteriorating psychosocial resources most consistently increased the likelihood of adverse outcomes. Among youth, family factors were primary. Implications of the research for clinical practice and community intervention are discussed in a companion article (Norris, Friedman, and Watson, this volume).

PMID:
12405079
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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