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J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1995 Sep;34(9):1193-201.

Posttraumatic stress disorder in adolescents after Hurricane Andrew.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia 29208, USA.



To examine rates and correlates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in adolescents after Hurricane Andrew.


A random-digit dialing sample of 158 Hispanic, 116 black, and 104 white adolescent-parent pairs were surveyed in high- and low-impact areas within Dade County, Florida, 6 months after Hurricane Andrew. Subjects completed a structured telephone interview focused on within-disaster experiences and emotional reaction, disaster-related losses, lifetime exposure to violent or traumatic events, recent stressful experiences, and psychiatric symptomatology.


Approximately 3% of males (95% confidence interval 0.4 to 5.3) and 9% of females (95% confidence interval 4.6 to 13.7) met the criteria for PTSD. Rates were highest among blacks (8.3%, 95% confidence interval 2.3 to 14.2) and Hispanics (6.1%, 95% confidence interval 2.2 to 9.9) and increased with age (odds ratio of 1.34, 95% confidence interval 1.04 to 1.72) and the number of undesirable events reported (odds ratio of 1.38, 95% confidence interval 1.21 to 1.57).


While only a relatively small percentage of adolescents reported symptoms consistent with a diagnosis of PTSD, most reported some posttraumatic symptoms. Postdisaster planning should recognize that common stressful events occurring after disasters may be more strongly associated with PTSD than magnitude of contact with the actual disaster.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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