Natural Disasters and Post‐traumatic Stress Disorder Short‐Term versus Long‐Term Recovery in Two Disaster‐Affected Communities


Journal Article

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. Copyright © 1990, Wiley Blackwell. All rights reserved

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Steinglass, P; Gerrity, E

Published Date

  • January 1, 1990

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 20 / 21

Start / End Page

  • 1746 - 1765

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1559-1816

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0021-9029

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1990.tb01509.x

Citation Source

  • Scopus