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Coping With Vicarious Trauma in the Aftermath of a Natural Disaster


  • This work was supported by the American Cancer Society (MRSGT-07-159-01-CPHPS), the Jay Weiss Center for Social Medicine and Health Equity, and the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Divisions of General Medicine and Epidemiology. The authors would like to thank the Center for Haitian Studies for serving as the community partner and Larinus Pierre, the Center's director, for his commitment to the well-being of the Little Haiti community. The authors also appreciate the generous donation of tablet PCs from Motion Computing and the valuable input and contributions of the volunteer community health workers who recruited participants and collected study data.


This study documents the vicarious psychological impact of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti on Haitians living in the United States. The role of coping resources—family, religious, and community support—was explored. The results highlight the importance of family and community as coping strategies to manage such trauma.

Este estudio documenta el impacto psicológico vicario que tuvo el terremoto de 2010 en Haití sobre los residentes haitianos que viven en Estados Unidos. Se explora el papel de los recursos de afrontamiento—apoyo familiar, religioso y comunitario. Lo resultados destacan la importancia de la familia y la comunidad como estrategias de afrontamiento para superar un trauma de esas características.

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