Requests for reprints should be sent to Dr. Peter Steinglass, Ackerman Institute for Family Therapy, 149 E. 78th Street, New York, NY 10021.
Natural Disasters and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Short-Term versus Long-Term Recovery in Two Disaster-Affected Communities1
Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 20, Issue 21, pages 1746–1765, December 1990
How to Cite
Steinglass, P. and Gerrity, E. (1990), Natural Disasters and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Short-Term versus Long-Term Recovery in Two Disaster-Affected Communities. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 20: 1746–1765. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1990.tb01509.x
This research was supported by Grant No. R01 MH40376 from the National Institute of Mental Health.
- Issue published online: 31 JUL 2006
- Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in adults following disaster-precipitated family relocation was investigated in a longitudinal study of family and individual response to natural disasters. Adult participants included 78 women and 77 men in two communities. Psychosocial adjustment was measured at two points in time: at 4 months and 16 months after the disaster. Instruments used for assessing stress-related symptomatology included the Horowitz Impact of Event Scale (HIES) and the Diagnostic Interview Schedule (DIS). Major findings included: (a) levels of short-term stress symptomatology and diagnosable PTSD were substantial in both communities; (b) significant decrements in these levels occurred by 16-months postdisaster;(c) substantial gender differences (greater levels for women) were apparent in both short- and long-term PTSD response rates; and (d) patterns and levels of PTSD symptoms were different in the two communities. Findings have implications for the interpretation of PTSD within the context of family- and community-level variables.