Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (Adapted from Applicant's Abstract): On August 23, l992,
Hurricane Andrew struck South Florida. In terms of property damage and
displaced persons, this storm was the most significant natural disaster
in the history of the United States. Tens of thousands of people were
exposed to the trauma of the storm and were left homeless and without
functioning utilities.

Furthermore, the secondary stress associated with the aftermath has
created significant challenges for thousands of families during a long-
term recovery period.

Studies indicate that children may display significant psychological
problems following various trauma, but relatively few controlled studies
have been conducted with appropriate control groups and reliable and
valid measures. This is especially the case for studies of pre-school
age minority children following major natural disasters: Little is known
about their rate of post- traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and factors
affecting its development and course.

The Specific Aims of this research are: 1) to determine the rate and
course of PTSD among pre-school Head Start children and their mothers
who were exposed to Hurricane Andrew, and 2) to identify factors
affecting children's PTSD over the 12-month period following the storm,
including gender, behavioral and emotional functioning, parental and
family functioning, and ethnic/cultural factors.

The subjects will be 250 pre-school age children and their mothers (half
are Hispanic and half are African-American) who are enrolled in the Date
County Head Start Program; they will be recruited from two sites in the
devastated area and from one unaffected site, and they will be studied
on two occasions (6 and 12 months post-hurricane). The methodology
includes: standardized structured interviews of the mothers concerning
demographic variables, hurricane exposure, and child functioning;
videotaped clinical interviews and ratings of PTSD in children; maternal
and teacher ratings of child behavior using standardized scales; and
questionnaires completed by mothers about their own feelings of
depression, PTSD symptoms, optimism, and perceptions about family
Effective start/end date2/1/931/31/95


  • National Institute of Mental Health


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.