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J Child Adolesc Psychiatr Nurs. 2000 Jan-Mar;13(1):7-16.

A cognitive developmental approach to understanding how children cope with disasters.

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Clayton College and State University, Morrow, GA, USA.



This paper applies cognitive developmental theory to explain how preschoolers, school-age children, and adolescents process and respond to disasters.


To help clinicians understand the disaster experience from a child's point of view, recognize age-specific reactions, identify symptoms that may signal coping difficulties, and plan effective interventions.


Case examples from the author's work with flood victims illustrate typical reactions for children (preschool to adolescents) within a family context, along with developmentally appropriate interventions.


Children affected by disasters need nursing interventions geared toward their particular developmental level and sensitive to their perception of the disaster.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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