Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Young children especially vulnerable to effects of 9/11

15.07.2010
Two new longitudinal studies show that age played an important role in the effects of the September 11, 2001 (9/11) terrorist attacks on New York City. Both studies appear in a special section on children and disaster in the July/August 2010 issue of the journal Child Development.

In the first study, researchers found higher rates of clinically significant behavior problems among preschool children directly exposed to 9/11 in Lower Manhattan according to whether their mothers had post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. In the second study, New York City adolescents and their mothers had generally elevated rates of PTSD and depression one year after 9/11. Direct exposure to the events of 9/11 played a small but significant role in explaining the severity of mental health symptoms.

The first study, by researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, the Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services, and the Bronx Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, looked at more than 100 moms and their preschool children who were directly exposed to the World Trade Center attacks. The families were recruited through extensive outreach in the Lower Manhattan area, primarily to preschools, between March 2003 and December 2005. The researchers asked: What's more important in determining terrorism-related problems in children—direct exposure to the attacks or indirect exposure to their mothers' attack-related psychological problems? As a follow-up, they asked whether young children exposed to the attacks whose mothers suffered from PTSD and depression were more likely to have serious behavior problems than similar children of moms with neither PTSD nor depression, or with only depression.

The study found that mothers' disaster-related psychological problems had a stronger impact on preschool children than children's direct exposure. Moreover, 9/11-exposed young children of moms with PTSD and depression, as documented by parent and teacher reports, were more likely to have clinically significant aggression, anxiety, depression, and sleep problems. The mothers' psychological well-being appeared to affect how well they helped their young children cope with exposure to disaster, although additional research is needed to shed light on this relationship.

The study was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.

The second study was carried out by researchers from the University of Michigan, New York University, the Austin Independent School District, and Sesame Workshop; the sample of more than 400 12- to -20-year olds and their mothers was drawn from a larger school-based study. In this second study, adolescents and their mothers were found to have generally high levels of PTSD and depression. Directness of exposure played a small but statistically significant role in explaining the prevalence of PTSD and depression in adolescents and their mothers. It was only direct exposure (for example, seeing the planes hit the towers) that was associated with elevated rates of PTSD and depression.

The authors note, however, that school-based samples may have excluded those most seriously affected or those receiving intensive services. Generally high levels of PTSD and depression in both adolescents and mothers in the sample may indicate that the events of 9/11 had general effects on the population or that other stressors (such as community or family violence) were in the background.

The study was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Together, the two studies suggest that responding to children's post-trauma needs requires an understanding of how the children were exposed and of the impact of trauma-related changes in parent-child relationships.

Summarized from Child Development, Vol. 81, Issue 4, Impact of Maternal Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Depression Following Exposure to the September 11 Attacks on Preschool Children's Behavior by Chemtob, CM, Nomura, Y, and Rajendran, K (Mount Sinai School of Medicine), Yehuda, R (Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Bronx Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center), Schwartz, D (Mount Sinai School of Medicine), and Abramovitz, R (Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services) and Exposure to 9/11 Among Youth and Their Mothers in New York City: Enduring Associations With Mental Health and Sociopolitical Attidues by Gershoff, E (University of Michigan), Aber, JL (New York University), Ware, A (Austin Independent School District), and Kotler, JA (Sesame Workshop). Copyright 2010 The Society for Research in Child Development, Inc. All rights reserved

Sarah Hutcheon | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.srcd.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

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: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Study shines light on brain cells that coordinate movement

26.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Smooth propagation of spin waves using gold

26.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Switchable DNA mini-machines store information

26.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>