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Anxiety Stress Coping. 2007 Jun;20(2):129-46.

Psychological and health problems in a geographically proximate population time-sampled continuously for three months after the September 11th, 2001 terrorist incidents.

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Department of Psychiatry, Center for Trauma Response, Recovery, and Preparedness, University of Connecticut Health Center, USA.


This study assessed the mental and physical health status and psychological problems related to the September 11th terrorist incidents among a representative sample of adults living near New York City, using continuously time-sampled data collected throughout 2001. Prevalence estimates for poor mental or physical health after September 11th (October through December) were comparable to those for the entire year of 2001 (i.e. approximately 33%). Psychological problems related to the terrorist incidents were reported by more than half of the respondents, and appeared to peak in prevalence approximately two to three months following the incidents, followed by a decline in the next month and subsequent year. Poor mental health, female gender, media re-exposure, and ongoing or increased alcohol use were risk factors for psychological problems, while older age (65+ years old) and being married were protective factors. Risk factors for poor physical and mental health or psychological problems were generally stable over the three-month period following September 11th, but some changes were identified consistent with stage models of post-disaster psychological adjustment. Implications are discussed for using continuous time-sampling as a strategy to research patterns of relatively acute stress-related sequelae of terrorism in populations whose members are affected despite primarily not having been at the disaster epicenter.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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