Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Preschoolers' Exposure To Terrorist Attacks, Other Trauma Linked To More Severe Behavioral Problems

Date:
February 5, 2008
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
Preschool children exposed to both the World Trade Center attacks and another traumatic event were more likely to experience behavioral problems than children exposed only to one event or to none, according to a new report.

Preschool children exposed to both the World Trade Center attacks and another traumatic event were more likely to experience behavioral problems than children exposed only to one event or to none, according to a new report.

Related Articles


Young children may be especially vulnerable to the adverse psychological consequences of trauma, according to background information in the article. However, little is known about the effect of terrorism on preschoolers.

Claude M. Chemtob, Ph.D., of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, and colleagues studied 116 preschool children (average age 3.9) directly exposed to the World Trade Center (WTC) attacks. Between March 2003 and December 2005--an average of 35 months after the attacks--the parents of children who lived or attended preschool in lower Manhattan filled out a questionnaire about their children, providing information on demographics, level of exposure to the attacks, occurrence of other traumatic events (such as the death of a family member, being in a natural disaster or seeing a serious accident) and emotional and behavioral factors.

Of the children participating, 23 percent were exposed to one or more high-intensity WTC events, meaning that they saw the towers collapse, saw injured people, saw dead bodies or saw people jumping out of buildings. Overall, these children had nearly five times the odds of having trouble sleeping and had almost three times the odds of being depressed and anxious than those who were not exposed.

These behavior problems appeared more severe among children who had also experienced another traumatic event. Compared with children who were not exposed to high-intensity WTC events or to other trauma, those who were exposed to both had 21 times the odds of having emotional problems or being anxious or depressed and 16 times the odds of having attention problems. Those who were exposed only to high-intensity WTC events and not to other traumatic events were not significantly more likely to have behavioral problems than those with only less intense exposure to the attacks.

The findings are consistent with an allostatic load theory of stress, which holds that accumulated exposure to difficult events increases the risk of psychological effects, the authors note. "Physicians seeking to assess the impact of terrorism and disaster on very young children should assess for disaster-related exposure and for other trauma," they write. "More vigorous outreach to trauma-exposed preschool children should become a post-disaster public health policy."

Journal reference: Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2008;162[2]:126-133.

This study was partially supported by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health and by grants from the New York Times Foundation's September 11 Fund, National Philanthropic Trust/Sept. 11th Children's Fund, United Jewish Communities, UJA Federation of New York, the UBS September 11 Fund, the Robin Hood Foundation, the Picower Foundation, an anonymous donor, the American Red Cross, Andor Capital Management and Strook, Strook and Lavan LLP.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Preschoolers' Exposure To Terrorist Attacks, Other Trauma Linked To More Severe Behavioral Problems." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080204161428.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2008, February 5). Preschoolers' Exposure To Terrorist Attacks, Other Trauma Linked To More Severe Behavioral Problems. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080204161428.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Preschoolers' Exposure To Terrorist Attacks, Other Trauma Linked To More Severe Behavioral Problems." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080204161428.htm (accessed February 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

AP (Jan. 30, 2015) The NFL announced this week that the number of game concussions dropped by a quarter over last season. Still, the dangers of the sport still weigh on players, and parents&apos; minds. (Jan. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Shows Newborn Chicks Count From Left to Right Just Like Humans

Study Shows Newborn Chicks Count From Left to Right Just Like Humans

Buzz60 (Jan. 30, 2015) Researchers for the first time identified human&apos;s innate preference for associating low and high numbers with the left and right respectively in another species. Jen Markham (@jenmarkham) explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Best Mood Elevating, Feel Good Shakes & Smoothies

Best Mood Elevating, Feel Good Shakes & Smoothies

Buzz60 (Jan. 30, 2015) You can elevate your mood by having a meal in a glass. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) offers the best &apos;feel good&apos; smoothies and shakes chock full of depression-relieving ingredients...including apples, berries, lemons, cucumbers, papaya, kiwi, spinach, kale, whey protein, matcha, ginger, turmeric and cinnamon. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Poll Says Firstborn Is Responsible, Youngest Is Funnier

Poll Says Firstborn Is Responsible, Youngest Is Funnier

Newsy (Jan. 30, 2015) According to a poll out of the U.K., eldest siblings feel more responsible and successful than their younger siblings. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins