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Am J Epidemiol. 1993 Oct 1;138(7):522-30.

Post-traumatic stress disorder in adolescents after a hurricane.

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Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of South Carolina, Columbia 29208.


A school-based study conducted in 1990, 1 year after Hurricane Hugo, investigated the frequency and correlates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in 1,264 adolescents aged 11-17 years residing in selected South Carolina communities. Data were collected via a 174-item self-administered questionnaire that included a PTSD symptom scale. A computer algorithm that applied decision rules of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Third Edition, Revised to the symptoms reported was used to assign a diagnosis of PTSD and to designate the number of individuals who met the reexperiencing (20%), avoidance (9%), and arousal (18%) criteria. Rates of PTSD were lowest in black males (1.5%) and higher, but similar, in the remaining groups (3.8-6.2%). Results from a multivariable logistic model indicated that exposure to the hurricane (odds ratio (OR) = 1.26, 95% confidence interval 1.13-1.41), experiencing other violent traumatic events (OR = 2.46, 95% confidence interval 1.75-3.44), being white (OR = 2.03, 95% confidence interval 1.12-3.69) and being female (OR = 2.17, 95% confidence interval 1.15-4.10) were significant correlates of PTSD.

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