Case finding and mental health services for children in the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing.
The 1995 Oklahoma City bombing killed 168 people, including 19 children, and injured hundreds more. Children were a major focus of concern in the mental health response. Most services for them were delivered in the Oklahoma City Public Schools where approximately 40,000 students were enrolled at the time of the explosion. Middle and high school students in the Oklahoma City Public Schools completed a clinical assessment 7 weeks after the explosion. The responses of 2720 students were analyzed to explore predictors of posttraumatic stress symptomatology, functioning, and treatment contact. Posttraumatic stress symptomatology was associated with initial reaction to the incident and to bomb-related television exposure. Functional difficulty was associated with initial reaction and posttraumatic stress symptomatology. Only 5% of the students surveyed had received counseling. There was no relationship between posttraumatic stress symptomatology and counseling contact for students with the highest levels of posttraumatic stress. Implications for school-based services are discussed.
Pfefferbaum, B; Sconzo, GM; Flynn, BW; Kearns, LJ; Doughty, DE; Gurwitch, RH; Nixon, SJ; Nawaz, S
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