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J Consult Clin Psychol. 1996 Aug;64(4):712-23.

Symptoms of posttraumatic stress in children after Hurricane Andrew: a prospective study.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Miami, Coral Gables 33124, USA.

Abstract

The authors examined symptoms of posttraumatic stress in 3rd-5th grade children during the school year after Hurricane Andrew. From a conceptual model of the effects of traumatic events, 442 children were evaluated 3, 7, and 10 months postdisaster with respect to (a) their exposure to traumatic events during and after the disaster, (b) their preexisting demographic characteristics, (c) the occurrence of major life stressors, (d) the availability of social support, and (e) the type of coping strategies used to cope with disaster-related distress. Although symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) declined over time, a substantial level of symptomatology was observed up to 10 months after the disease. All 5 factors in the conceptual model were predictive of children's PTSD symptoms 7 and 10 months postdisaster. Findings are discussed in terms of the potential utility of the model for organizing thinking about factors that predict the emergence and persistence of PTSD symptoms in children.

PMID:
8803361
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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