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J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol. 2008 Jul;37(3):564-74. doi: 10.1080/15374410802148228.

Social support, discrimination, and coping as predictors of posttraumatic stress reactions in youth survivors of Hurricane Katrina.

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Department of Psychology, Arizona State University. Tempe, AZ 871104, USA.


This study examined the influence of aspects of the post-Hurricane Katrina recovery environment (i.e., discrimination, social support) and coping behaviors on children's posttraumatic stress reactions (symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder [PTSD], anxiety, and depression). Data corresponding to 46 youth (M = 11.43 years; 39% girls; 33% African American, 67% European American) revealed that greater helpfulness from extrafamilial sources of social support predicted lower levels of child-rated symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, and depression. A positive predictive relation was found between helpfulness from professional support sources and PTSD, perhaps suggesting that parents whose children were experiencing higher PTSD symptom levels sought professional support and reported it to be helpful. Youths' avoidant coping behaviors predicted both PTSD and anxiety symptoms. Discrimination, active coping, and familial support did not predict any of the posttraumatic stress reactions assessed in this study.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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