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      Mental Health Consequences of Disasters

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      Annual Review of Public Health

      Annual Reviews

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          Abstract

          We present in this review the current state of disaster mental health research. In particular, we provide an overview of research on the presentation, burden, correlates, and treatment of mental disorders following disasters. We also describe challenges to studying the mental health consequences of disasters and discuss the limitations in current methodologies. Finally, we offer directions for future disaster mental health research.

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          Most cited references 43

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          Ordinary magic. Resilience processes in development.

           A. S. Masten (2001)
          The study of resilience in development has overturned many negative assumptions and deficit-focused models about children growing up under the threat of disadvantage and adversity. The most surprising conclusion emerging from studies of these children is the ordinariness of resilience. An examination of converging findings from variable-focused and person-focused investigations of these phenomena suggests that resilience is common and that it usually arises from the normative functions of human adaptational systems, with the greatest threats to human development being those that compromise these protective systems. The conclusion that resilience is made of ordinary rather than extraordinary processes offers a more positive outlook on human development and adaptation, as well as direction for policy and practice aimed at enhancing the development of children at risk for problems and psychopathology.
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            Posttraumatic stress disorder in the National Comorbidity Survey

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              Psychological sequelae of the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York City.

              The scope of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, was unprecedented in the United States. We assessed the prevalence and correlates of acute post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression among residents of Manhattan five to eight weeks after the attacks. We used random-digit dialing to contact a representative sample of adults living south of 110th Street in Manhattan. Participants were asked about demographic characteristics, exposure to the events of September 11, and psychological symptoms after the attacks. Among 1008 adults interviewed, 7.5 percent reported symptoms consistent with a diagnosis of current PTSD related to the attacks, and 9.7 percent reported symptoms consistent with current depression (with "current" defined as occurring within the previous 30 days). Among respondents who lived south of Canal Street (i.e., near the World Trade Center), the prevalence of PTSD was 20.0 percent. Predictors of PTSD in a multivariate model were Hispanic ethnicity, two or more prior stressors, a panic attack during or shortly after the events, residence south of Canal Street, and loss of possessions due to the events. Predictors of depression were Hispanic ethnicity, two or more prior stressors, a panic attack, a low level of social support, the death of a friend or relative during the attacks, and loss of a job due to the attacks. There was a substantial burden of acute PTSD and depression in Manhattan after the September 11 attacks. Experiences involving exposure to the attacks were predictors of current PTSD, and losses as a result of the events were predictors of current depression. In the aftermath of terrorist attacks, there may be substantial psychological morbidity in the population.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Annual Review of Public Health
                Annu. Rev. Public Health
                Annual Reviews
                0163-7525
                1545-2093
                March 18 2014
                March 18 2014
                : 35
                : 1
                : 169-183
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032-3727; email: ,
                Article
                10.1146/annurev-publhealth-032013-182435
                24159920
                © 2014

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