Television exposure in children after a terrorist incident.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

This study examined the influence of bomb-related television viewing in the context of physical and emotional exposure on posttraumatic stress symptoms--intrusion, avoidance, and arousal--in middle school students following the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. Over 2,000 middle school students in Oklahoma City were surveyed 7 weeks after the incident. The primary outcome measures were the total posttraumatic stress symptom score and symptom cluster scores at the time of assessment. Bomb-related television viewing in the aftermath of the disaster was extensive. Both emotional and television exposure were associated with posttraumatic stress at 7 weeks. Among children with no physical or emotional exposure, the degree of television exposure was directly related to posttraumatic stress symptomatology. These findings suggest that television viewing in the aftermath of a disaster may make a small contribution to subsequent posttraumatic stress symptomatology in children or that increased television viewing may be a sign of current distress and that it should be monitored. Future research should examine further whether early symptoms predict increased television viewing and/or whether television viewing predicts subsequent symptoms.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Pfefferbaum, B; Nixon, SJ; Tivis, RD; Doughty, DE; Pynoos, RS; Gurwitch, RH; Foy, DW

Published Date

  • 2001

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 64 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 202 - 211

PubMed ID

  • 11708044

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0033-2747

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1521/psyc.


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States