Posttraumatic stress responses in bereaved children after the Oklahoma City bombing.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the responses of middle and high school students exposed to the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing across a spectrum of loss. METHOD: A questionnaire measuring exposure, personal consequences, initial response, and current posttraumatic stress and other symptoms was administered to 3,218 students 7 weeks after the explosion. RESULTS: More than one third of the sample knew someone killed in the explosion. Bereaved youths were more likely than nonbereaved peers to report immediate symptoms of arousal and fear, changes in their home and school environment, and posttraumatic stress symptoms. Retrospective measures of initial arousal and fear predicted posttraumatic stress symptoms at 7 weeks. CONCLUSIONS: The results support the literature addressing the role of initial response in posttraumatic stress symptom development. The study raises concern about the impact of television, and traumatized youths' reactivity to it, in the aftermath of disaster.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Pfefferbaum, B; Nixon, SJ; Tucker, PM; Tivis, RD; Moore, VL; Gurwitch, RH; Pynoos, RS; Geis, HK

Published Date

  • November 1999

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 38 / 11

Start / End Page

  • 1372 - 1379

PubMed ID

  • 10560223

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0890-8567

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/00004583-199911000-00011


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States