205523 Exposure to a community trauma, perievent panic attacks, and psychological well-being: A longitudinal analysis of the World Trade Center disaster

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Richard E. Adams, PhD , Department of Sociology, Kent State University, Kent, OH
Joseph Boscarino, PhD , Department of Pediatrics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY
Objective: This study examines the association between exposure to the World Trade Center disaster (WTCD), perievent panic, and psychological well-being for New York City (NYC) residents one and two years after the attacks. Methods: The data come from a two-wave longitudinal study. Using random-digit dialing, all English or Spanish-speaking NYC residents who have been living in NYC on September 11, 2001 were eligible. Wave 1 (W1) interviews occurred between October and December, 2002, and Wave 2 (W2) interviews occurred between October, 2003, and January, 2004. Measures: Mental health outcomes included posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depression measured in both W1 and W2 surveys. Predictor variables from W1 included demographic variables (gender, ethnicity, and income), WTCD exposure, perievent panic attack related to the WTCD, stressful events not related to the WTCD, and psychological resources (self-esteem and social support). In addition, the analyses included lifetime depression and lifetime panic attack prior to the WTCD measured retrospectively at W1. Results: Using structural equation modeling and controlling for the independent variables, the more exposure respondents had to the WTCD the more likely they experienced a perievent panic attack and meet criteria for W1 and W2 PTSD. Perievent panic was directly related to both W1 and W2 PTSD, even after controlling for prior psychological difficulties. A similar pattern held for depression. Conclusion: Exposure to the WTCD continues affect the mental health of survivors and perievent panic attack appears to be a marker for both current and future psychological problems.

Learning Objectives:
Learning Objectives: 1) Have information linking community disasters to measures of mental health. 2) Be able to discuss the ways perievent panic attacks may mediate the association between community disasters and psychological problems. 3) Identify possible pathways by which community disasters increase the vulnerability of survivors to psychological problems.

Keywords: Disasters, Stress

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Ph.D. in Sociology Published articles using these data in the past.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

See more of: Mental Health Poster Session V
See more of: Mental Health