Symptoms of posttraumatic stress in children after Hurricane Andrew: A prospective study

Annette M. La Greca, Eric M. Vernberg, Wendy K. Silverman, Mitchell J. Prinstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

483 Scopus citations

Abstract

The authors examined symptoms of posttraumatic stress in 3rd-5th grade children during the school year after Hurricane Andrew. From a conceptual model of the effects of traumatic events, 442 children were evaluated 3, 7, and 10 months postdisaster with respect to (a) their exposure to traumatic events during and after the disaster, (b) their preexisting demographic characteristics, (c) the occurrence of major life stressors, (d) the availability of social support, and (e) the type of coping strategies used to cope with disaster-related distress. Although symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) declined over time, a substantial level of symptomatology was observed up to 10 months after the disaster. All 5 factors in the conceptual model were predictive of children's PTSD symptoms 7 and 10 months postdisaster. Findings are discussed in terms of the potential utility of the model for organizing thinking about factors that predict the emergence and persistence of PTSD symptoms in children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)712-723
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of consulting and clinical psychology
Volume64
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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