ERIC Number: ED250634
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Chronic Stress and Three Mile Island: Toxic Exposure and Uncertainty.
Davidson, Laura M.; And Others
Although many researchers expected the psychological effects of the accident at the Three Mile Island (TMI) nuclear plant to be short-lived, area residents continued to show elevated levels of stress. To examine stress levels of TMI residents 28 months after the accident, 141 subjects were chosen from nearby areas, and from a town 80 miles away. Two control groups were selected from residents living near a coal-fired power plant and from those living near an undamaged nuclear plant. Self-reports of psychological stress were collected, and two behavioral measures (Towers of Hanoi and a proofreading task) were administered. Physiological stress was measured by analyzing urine samples for levels of epinephrine and norepinephrine, two hormones found to be related to stress. Results indicated that TMI residents continued to report more stress; more somatic complaints; and more problems with concentration, anxiety, alienation, suspicion, fear, and depression than controls. TMI residents experienced more difficulty than controls with persistence and concentration, and had higher levels of epinephrine and norepinephrine. Residents who reported lower perceived control reported the most symptoms. (JAC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Uniformed Services Univ. of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Pennsylvania (Three Mile Island)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (92nd, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, August 24-28, 1984).