Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Children’s Preexisting Symptoms Influence Their Reactions to Disaster Coverage on TV

06.11.2012
After a natural disaster occurs, we often find ourselves glued to the TV, seeking out details about the extent of the damage and efforts at recovery.

While research has shown that exposure to this kind of coverage is associated with symptoms of traumatic stress in youths, new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, suggests that the relationship isn’t quite so simple.

The new study finds that while the amount of exposure to disaster coverage matters, children’s preexisting symptoms of posttraumatic stress also play an important role.

As part of an ongoing study, Carl Weems and his colleagues at the University of New Orleans followed 141 fourth through eighth graders, all of whom attended a single school in a New Orleans neighborhood that had experienced massive damage and flooding following Hurricane Katrina in August of 2005. The children were evaluated for PTSD symptoms 24 and 30 months after Katrina. The researchers also evaluated the children’s PTSD symptoms and amount of disaster-related TV viewing one month after Hurricane Gustav, which made landfall on August 31, 2008.

To assess perceptions of self-harm, the researchers asked the children whether they thought they would get hurt during Hurricane Gustav. To measure their overall distress, they asked the children how scared they were during the hurricane. The data were collected as part of the school’s counseling curriculum, and the children completed all of the measures in a group classroom setting with the assistance of trained staff.

About 25% of the children said they had watched “a lot” of disaster coverage on TV, while 31% said they had watched “a whole lot.” The amount of Gustav-related coverage that the children watched was associated with their PTSD symptoms post-Gustav. Subsequent analyses revealed that pre-Gusatv symptoms, perceptions of self-harm, and viewing of disaster-related coverage were all predictors of symptoms of PTSD following Hurricane Gustav. But, as the researchers predicted, the relationship between TV viewing and post-Gustav symptoms depended on children’s pre-Gustav symptoms. The relationship between TV viewing and post-Gustav symptoms of PTSD was significant only for children who had high levels of pre-Gustav symptoms.

The study is one of the first to use a prospective design to examine the relationship between TV viewing and children’s stress reactions after disasters, allowing the researchers to investigate the role of possible factors that might contribute to children’s symptoms both before and after a natural disaster.

Based on their findings, Weems and his colleagues believe that preexisting symptoms could be an important tool for identifying which children are most likely to be negatively affected by watching disaster-related coverage.

“Practitioners with young patients who have anxiety disorders such as PTSD may wish to emphasized to parents the potential effects of media,” the researchers conclude.

For more information about this study, please contact: Carl F. Weems at cweems@uno.edu.

The APS journal Psychological Science is the highest ranked empirical journal in psychology. For a copy of the article "Is TV Traumatic for All Youths? The Role of Preexisting Posttraumatic-Stress Symptoms in the Link Between Disaster Coverage and Stress" and access to other Psychological Science research findings, please contact Anna Mikulak at 202-293-9300 or amikulak@psychologicalscience.org.

Anna Mikulak | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.psychologicalscience.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Los Alamos researchers and supercomputers help interpret the latest LIGO findings

18.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Study shows how water could have flowed on 'cold and icy' ancient Mars

18.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Navigational view of the brain thanks to powerful X-rays

18.10.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>