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ERIC Number: EJ907066
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Dec
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 167
ISSN: ISSN-0022-006X
Disasters and Youth: A Meta-Analytic Examination of Posttraumatic Stress
Furr, Jami M.; Comer, Jonathan S.; Edmunds, Julie M.; Kendall, Philip C.
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, v78 n6 p765-780 Dec 2010
Objective: Meta-analyze the literature on posttraumatic stress (PTS) symptoms in youths post-disaster. Method: Meta-analytic synthesis of the literature (k = 96 studies; N[subscript total] = 74,154) summarizing the magnitude of associations between disasters and youth PTS, and key factors associated with variations in the magnitude of these associations. We included peer-reviewed studies published prior to 1/1/2009 that quantitatively examined youth PTS ([less than or equal to]18 years at event) after a distinct and identifiable disaster. Results: Despite variability across studies, disasters had a significant effect on youth PTS (small-to-medium magnitude; r[subscript pooled] = 0.19, SE[subscript r] = 0.03; d = 0.4). Female gender (r[subscript pooled] = 0.14), higher death toll (disasters of death toll [less than or equal to]25: r[subscript pooled] = 0.09; vs. disasters with [greater than or equal to]1,000 deaths: r[subscript pooled] = 0.22), child proximity (r[subscript pooled] = 0.33), personal loss (r[subscript pooled] = 0.16), perceived threat (r[subscript pooled] = 0.34), and distress (r[subscript pooled] = 0.38) at time of event were each associated with increased PTS. Studies conducted within 1 year post-disaster, studies that used established measures, and studies that relied on child-report data identified a significant effect. Conclusion: Youths are vulnerable to appreciable PTS after disaster, with pre-existing child characteristics, aspects of the disaster experience, and study methodology each associated with variations in the effect magnitude. Findings underscore the importance of measurement considerations in post-disaster research. Areas in need of research include the long-term impact of disasters, disaster-related media exposure, prior trauma and psychopathology, social support, ethnicity/race, prejudice, parental psychopathology, and the effects of disasters in developing regions of the world. Policy and clinical implications are discussed. (Contains 5 tables and 1 figure.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A