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ERIC Number: EJ775485
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Pages: 27
Abstractor: Author
ISSN: ISSN-1533-7731
Psychological Effects of Technological/Human-Caused Environmental Disasters: Examination of the Navajo and Uranium
Markstrom, Carol A.; Charley, Perry H.
American Indian and Alaska Native Mental Health Research: The Journal of the National Center, v11 n1 p19-45 2003
Disasters can be defined as catastrophic events that challenge the normal range of human coping ability. The technological/human-caused disaster, a classification of interest in this article, is attributable to human error or misjudgment. Lower socioeconomic status and race intersect in the heightened risk for technological/human-caused disasters among people of color. The experience of the Navajo with the uranium industry is argued to specifically be this type of a disaster with associated long-standing psychological impacts. The history of the Navajo with uranium mining and milling is reviewed with a discussion of the arduous efforts for compensation. The psychological impacts of this long-standing disaster among the Navajo are organized around major themes of: (a) human losses and bereavement, (b) environmental losses and contamination, (c) feelings of betrayal by government and mining and milling companies, (d) fears about current and future effects, (e) prolonged duration of psychological effects, (f) anxiety and depression, and (g) complicating factors of poverty and racism. The paper concludes with suggestions for culturally-appropriate education and intervention. (Contains 1 table, 1 figure and 1 footnote.)
American Indian and Alaska Native Programs. University of Colorado Health Services Center, P.O. Box 6508, Mail Stop F800, Aurora, CO 80045-0508. Tel: 303-724-1414; Fax: 303-724-1474; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A