Psychosocial correlates of fire disaster among children and adolescents

Authors

  • Russell T. Jones,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061-0436
    • Virginia Tech Department of Psychology, Stress and Coping Lab, 4102 Derring Hall, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061-0436
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  • David P. Ribbe,

    1. Department of Psychology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061-0436
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  • Phillippe Cunningham

    1. Department of Psychology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061-0436
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Abstract

This study examined the extent of children's and adolescents' psychosocial maladjustment associated with a natural disaster, namely, wildfire. The course of psychopathology was assessed six weeks after a major wildfire destroyed 420 homes. Victims' functioning relative to a comparison group from the same community, matched for age, gender, socioeconomic status, and fire insurance was examined. The major goal of this study was to assess systematically the short-term mental health consequences of a wildfire disaster among children and adolescents. This goal was achieved through the use of standardized assessment procedures. The results of this study add useful information to the literature concerning the impact of disaster among children and adolescents and provide a methodological framework for future efforts in this area.

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