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 Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung

nachricht Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3-D
07.08.2017 | University of Manchester

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: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Gold shines through properties of nano biosensors

17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Greenland ice flow likely to speed up: New data assert glaciers move over sediment, which gets more slippery as it gets wetter

17.08.2017 | Earth Sciences

Mars 2020 mission to use smart methods to seek signs of past life

17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>