Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Teachers-based intervention provides stress resistance in war-exposed children

Date:
April 14, 2011
Source:
Elsevier
Summary:
In a new study, researchers report on the effects of an Israeli, teacher-based stress resistance intervention implemented in grade schools before the rocket attacks that occurred during Operation Cast Lead, compared with a non-intervention but exposed control group.

During the winter of 2008-2009, a three-week armed conflict in the south of Israel and the Gaza Strip named "Operation Cast Lead" resulted in hundreds of rocket and mortar attacks on Israeli civilian populations. During this time children and their families spent hours and days in shelters amid threats to their survival.

Related Articles


Although the psychological effects of children's health are well-documented, local resources aimed at alleviating the negative outcomes of mass trauma are often overwhelmed. In the face of human-made or natural disasters, the school setting and teachers empowered to serve as "clinical mediators" can provide crucial role in assisting children in coping with exposure to trauma.

In a study published in the April 2011 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP), researchers report on the effects of an Israeli, teacher-based stress resistance intervention implemented in grade schools before the rocket attacks that occurred during Operation Cast Lead, compared with a non-intervention but exposed control group. This is the first known study to evaluate psychiatric outcomes in children who received stress intervention before the onset of mass trauma.

Mr. Wolmer, and Drs. Hamiel and Laor, from the Tel Aviv-Brull Community Mental Health Center, Donald J. Cohen and Irving B. Harris Resilience Center for Trauma and Disaster Intervention, and Child Study Center at Yale University evaluated 1,488 fourth and fifth grade Jewish students from a southern Israeli city that had been exposed to the continuous rocket attacks during Operation Cast Lead. Participating schools, chosen because of their proximity to the Gaza Strip, provided teacher training in stress resistance which focused on resilience building rather than directly addressing trauma symptoms. The teacher-led intervention was implemented at six schools three months before the traumatic exposure.

Utilizing two rating assessments, the UCLA-PTSD Reaction Index and the Stress/Mood Scale, the children self-reported on the frequency of symptoms related to stress, fear, and mood changes in the previous month. These symptoms align with those found in children experiencing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

In the article titled "Preventing Children's Posttraumatic Stress After Disaster With Teacher-Based Intervention: A Controlled Study" Mr. Wolmer, and Drs. Hamiel and Laor, report that children who participated in the teacher-based intervention reported 50% fewer symptoms of posttrauma and stress as compared to the control group. For children with teacher-based intervention, the percentage of children meeting or exceeding the accepted cut-off score for PTSD was significantly lower, although mostly among boys.

Children with low socioeconomic status reported more symptoms of both scales than those with moderate and high socioeconomic status.

The researchers conclude, '"The teacher based, resilience-focused intervention is a universal, cost-effective approach to enhance the preparedness of communities of children to mass trauma and to prevent the development of PTSD after exposure."

In a related editorial Dr. Joan Rosenbaum Asarnow states, "The article by Wolmer et al. (1) provides a compelling example of the value of pairing public health/program innovations with strong evaluation designs. The need to provide the best public health and treatment programs requires that the best science be mobilized to maximize program effectiveness." Dr. Arsarnow continues, "Finding optimal approaches to combining these public health/program initiatives with state-of-the-art evaluations to inform science is a critical task for the field."

The study findings reported by Mr. Wolmer and colleagues were supported by grants from the Pritzker Family Foundation and the Irving Harris Foundation.


Story Source:

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


Journal References:

  1. Leo Wolmer, Daniel Hamiel, Nathaniel Laor. Preventing Children's Posttraumatic Stress After Disaster With Teacher-Based Intervention: A Controlled Study. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 2011; DOI: 10.1016/j.jaac.2011.01.002
  2. Joan Rosenbaum Asarnow. Promoting Stress Resistance in War-Exposed Children. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 2011; 50 (4): 320-322 DOI: 10.1016/j.jaac.2011.01.010

Cite This Page:

Elsevier. "Teachers-based intervention provides stress resistance in war-exposed children." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 April 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110414131700.htm>.
Elsevier. (2011, April 14). Teachers-based intervention provides stress resistance in war-exposed children. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110414131700.htm
Elsevier. "Teachers-based intervention provides stress resistance in war-exposed children." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110414131700.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
1st Responders Trained for Autism Sensitivity

1st Responders Trained for Autism Sensitivity

AP (Dec. 16, 2014) More departments are ordering their first responders to sit in on training sessions that focus on how to more effectively interact with those with autism spectrum disorder (Dec. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Guys Are Idiots, According To Sarcastic Study

Guys Are Idiots, According To Sarcastic Study

Newsy (Dec. 12, 2014) A study out of Britain suggest men are more idiotic than women based on the rate of accidental deaths and other factors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Believing in Father Christmas Good for Children's Imaginations

Believing in Father Christmas Good for Children's Imaginations

AFP (Dec. 12, 2014) As the countdown to Christmas gets underway, so too does the Father Christmas conspiracy. But psychologists say that telling our children about Santa, flying reindeer and elves is good for their imaginations. Duration: 01:57 Video provided by AFP
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