Conflict of interest statement: No conflicts declared.
Pre-attack stress-load, appraisals, and coping in children's responses to the 9/11 terrorist attacks
Article first published online: 6 OCT 2006
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Volume 47, Issue 12, pages 1219–1227, December 2006
How to Cite
Lengua, L. J., Long, A. C. and Meltzoff, A. N. (2006), Pre-attack stress-load, appraisals, and coping in children's responses to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 47: 1219–1227. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2006.01664.x
- Issue published online: 27 NOV 2006
- Article first published online: 6 OCT 2006
- Manuscript accepted 1 June 2006
Background: Appraisal and coping following a disaster are important factors in children's post-traumatic stress (PTS) symptoms. However, little is known about predictors of disaster coping responses. This study examined stress-load, appraisals and coping styles measured prior to the September 11 terrorist attacks as predictors of 9/11-specific appraisals, coping and PTS.
Methods: A community sample of children and parents (N = 143) participating in an ongoing study were interviewed by phone approximately 1 month following 9/11.
Results: Pre-attack stress-load, appraisal and coping styles predicted children's 9/11-specific appraisals, coping, and PTS. 9/11-specific threat appraisals and avoidant coping predicted higher PTS and mediated the effects of pre-attack stress-load and threat appraisal.
Conclusions: Pre-disaster stress-load, appraisal and coping styles predict disaster-specific appraisal and coping, which in turn, contribute to PTS. Coping interventions might mitigate PTS symptoms following a disaster.