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Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2016 Jun;18(6):54. doi: 10.1007/s11920-016-0690-5.

Public Disaster Communication and Child and Family Disaster Mental Health: a Review of Theoretical Frameworks and Empirical Evidence.

Author information

1
Disaster and Community Crisis Center, Department of Communication, University of Missouri, 115 Switzler Hall, Columbia, MO, 65211-2310, USA. houstonjb@missouri.edu.
2
Disaster and Community Crisis Center, School of Social Work, University of Missouri, 206 Switzler Hall, Columbia, MO, 65211, USA.
3
Disaster and Community Crisis Center, Department of Communication, University of Missouri, 207 Switzler Hall, Columbia, MO, 65211-2310, USA.
4
Disaster and Community Crisis Center, Department of Communication, University of Missouri, 007 Switzler Hall, Columbia, MO, 65211-2310, USA.
5
Disaster and Community Crisis Center, Department of Communication, University of Missouri, 006A Switzler Hall, Columbia, MO, 65211-2310, USA.

Abstract

Children have been identified as particularly vulnerable to psychological and behavioral difficulties following disaster. Public child and family disaster communication is one public health tool that can be utilized to promote coping/resilience and ameliorate maladaptive child reactions following an event. We conducted a review of the public disaster communication literature and identified three main functions of child and family disaster communication: fostering preparedness, providing psychoeducation, and conducting outreach. Our review also indicates that schools are a promising system for child and family disaster communication. We complete our review with three conclusions. First, theoretically, there appears to be a great opportunity for public disaster communication focused on child disaster reactions. Second, empirical research assessing the effects of public child and family disaster communication is essentially nonexistent. Third, despite the lack of empirical evidence in this area, there is opportunity for public child and family disaster communication efforts that address new domains.

KEYWORDS:

Campaign; Children; Communication; Disaster; Intervention; Mental health

PMID:
27086315
DOI:
10.1007/s11920-016-0690-5
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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