Trauma

Nationwide Longitudinal Study of Psychological Responses to September 11

Context The September 11, 2001, attacks against the United States provide a unique opportunity to examine longitudinally the process of adjustment to a traumatic event on a national scale.
Objective To examine the degree to which demographic factors, mental and physical health history, lifetime exposure to stressful events, September 11–related experiences, and coping strategies used shortly after the attacks predict psychological outcomes over time.

Adolescent Vulnerability following the September 11th Terrorist Attacks: A Study of Parents and their Children

 Approximately 2 weeks after September 11th, adolescents from a national sample of households who were indirectly exposed to the terrorist attacks through the media completed a Web-based survey that assessed event-related acute stress symptoms. One year later, these adolescents (N = 142) and a randomly selected parent from their household completed a second survey.

Early responses to school violence: A qualitative analysis of students' and parents' immediate reactions to the shootings at Columbine High School

 On April 20, 1999, two angry students attacked Columbine High School. The unprecedented murder/suicide resulted in 15 deaths, more than 20 injuries, and thousands of psychologically traumatized individuals. We present a qualitative analysis of interviews conducted two weeks after the incident with 4 Columbine High School students and 7 parents who were directly and indirectly affected. Findings highlight both similarities and variability in immediate emotional, cognitive, and social responses to the mass violence. Helpful and unhelpful support attempts are noted.

Exploring the Myths of Coping with a National Trauma A Longitudinal Study of Responses to the September 11th Terrorist Attacks

 A longitudinal investigation of psychological responses to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks was conducted on a U.S. national probability sample. Using an anonymous Web-based survey methodology, data were collected among over 1,900 adults at 2 weeks and 12 months post-9/11 to consider whether direct and proximal exposure were necessary preconditions for high levels of acute and posttraumatic stress symptoms, and whether greater exposure/proximity led to greater traumatic stress symptoms.

Future-Oriented Thinking and Adjustment in a Nationwide Longitudinal Study Following the September 11th Terrorist Attacks

 We conducted a three-year longitudinal study of the mental and physical health of a national probability sample following the September 11th terrorist attacks. Adjustment over the three years following the attacks was associated with higher levels of future-oriented thinking and lower levels of fear about future terrorism (as measured 1, 2, and 3 years post-9/11), even after adjusting for demographics, lifetime trauma, pre-9/11 mental and physical health, and 9/11-related exposure.

Nationwide longitudinal study of psychological responses to September 11.

 CONTEXT: The September 11, 2001, attacks against the United States provide a unique opportunity to examine longitudinally the process of adjustment to a traumatic event on a national scale.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the degree to which demographic factors, mental and physical health history, lifetime exposure to stressful events, September 11-related experiences, and coping strategies used shortly after the attacks predict psychological outcomes over time.

Ethnicity and Gender in the Face of a Terrorist Attack: A National Longitudinal Study of Immediate Responses and Outcomes Two Years After September 11

 This study examines ethnic and gender differences in open-ended immediate responses to an online prompt provided by a nationwide sample of 1,559 individuals in the days following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. These responses were used to predict longitudinal outcomes over the following 2 years. Results show that African Americans and women responded with more emotions (e.g., sadness, sympathy) than did Whites and men. African Americans and women also endorsed violent retaliation less often than did their White, male counterparts.

Expressing thoughts and feelings following a collective trauma: immediate responses to 9/11 predict negative outcomes in a national sample.

Collective traumas can negatively affect large numbers of people who ostensibly did not experience events directly, making it particularly important to identify which people are most vulnerable to developing mental and physical health problems as a result of such events. It is commonly believed that successful coping with a traumatic event requires expressing one's thoughts and feelings about the experience, suggesting that people who choose not to do so would be at high risk for poor adjustment.

Searching for and finding meaning in collective trauma: results from a national longitudinal study of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The ability to make sense of events in one's life has held a central role in theories of adaptation to adversity. However, there are few rigorous studies on the role of meaning in adjustment, and those that have been conducted have focused predominantly on direct personal trauma. The authors examined the predictors and long-term consequences of Americans' searching for and finding meaning in a widespread cultural upheaval--the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001--among a national probability sample of U.S. adults (N=931).

Finding social benefits after a collective trauma: Perceiving societal changes and well-being following 9/11

Individuals frequently perceive positive changes in themselves following adversity; after a collective trauma, they may perceive such benefits in others or in their society as well. We examined perceived benefits of the September 11, 2001 (9/11) terrorist attacks in a 3-year study of a national sample of adults (N = 1382). Many individuals (57.8%) perceived social benefits of 9/11, including increased prosocial behavior, religiousness, or political engagement.

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