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J Trauma Stress. 2017 Dec;30(6):564-570. doi: 10.1002/jts.22232. Epub 2017 Nov 13.

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Gender, and Risk Factors: World Trade Center Tower Survivors 10 to 11 Years After the September 11, 2001 Attacks.

Author information

1
San Francisco State University, Department of Psychology, San Francisco, California, USA.
2
John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York, Department of Psychology, New York, New York, USA.
3
The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, Department of Psychology, New York, New York, USA.
4
World Trade Center Health Registry, Division of Epidemiology, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York, New York, USA.
5
Université du Québec à Montréal, Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Wellness, Health, Society and Environment, Montreal, Canada.

Abstract

Ten to eleven years after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, probable posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was evaluated in 1,755 World Trade Center (WTC) evacuees based on data from the WTC Health Registry. Characteristics of men and women were compared and factors associated with PTSD symptom severity were examined using the PTSD Checklist (PCL). Compared with men (n = 1,015, 57.8%), women (n = 740, 42.2%) were younger and of lower socioeconomic status. Ten to eleven years after September 11, 2001, 13.7% of men and 24.1% of women met criteria for PTSD. Results indicated that when considered with all other variables (i.e., demographic, socioeconomic and social resources, exposure to the attacks, life events), gender was not a significant predictor of PTSD symptom severity. Being younger on September 11, 2001, unemployed, less educated, and/or having higher exposure to the attacks, unmet mental health care needs, and less social support predicted higher PCL scores for both genders (βs = .077 to .239). Demographic characteristics and socioeconomic resources (ΔR2 = .113) accounted for the largest amount of variance in PCL scores over and above exposure/evacuation, mental healthcare needs, and social support variables (ΔR2 = .093 to .102). When trends of unmet mental healthcare needs were analyzed, the most prevalent response for men was that they preferred to manage their own symptoms (15.1%), whereas the most prevalent response for women was that they could not afford to pay for mental health care (14.7%). Although the prevalence of probable PTSD in women tower survivors was approximately twice as high as it was for men, this is attributable largely to demographic and socioeconomic resource factors and not gender alone. Implications for treatment and interventions are discussed.

PMID:
29131407
DOI:
10.1002/jts.22232
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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