ERIC Number: EJ1167197
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
After the Storm: Helping Children Cope with Trauma after Natural Disasters
Simmons, Krystal T.; Douglas, Denika Y.
Communique, v46 n5 p23-25 Jan-Feb 2018
Though adults undoubtedly suffer tremendous stress in the aftermath of natural disasters such as Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, it is often the most vulnerable, the children, who are most traumatized and possess the fewest coping skills. Signs of child psychological trauma such as symptoms commonly associated with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may be evident in the days and weeks following a natural disaster but what might not be immediately noticeable is the effect of trauma on a child's developing brain (e.g., Anda et al., 2006; Perry, 2002; Perry & Pollard, 1998; Perry, Pollard, Blakley, Baker, & Vigilante, 1995). Youth living in urban or high-poverty areas, those with the greatest susceptibility to PTSD after a natural disaster, were among the populations most impacted by the recent hurricanes in the United States and its territories. At the time of Hurricane Katrina, there was little to no guidance on the type of empirical interventions most appropriate for children affected by such a disaster (Jaycox et al., 2010). Therefore, a number of studies were conducted as a result of the lack of evidence-based guidelines to prepare and respond to a catastrophic natural disaster. Herein, the authors outline findings from selected studies to aid school personnel and independent practitioners in the preliminary planning of crisis intervention for children negatively impacted by natural disasters. These recommendations are not exhaustive and only account for minimal considerations in planning efforts.
Descriptors: Children, Coping, Trauma, Natural Disasters, Crisis Intervention, Change Strategies, School Role, Needs Assessment, Elementary Secondary Education, Crisis Management, Emergency Programs
National Association of School Psychologists. 4340 East West Highway Suite 402, Bethesda, MD 20814. Tel: 301-657-0270; Fax: 301-657-0275; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.nasponline.org/publications/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A