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Schools in the Shadow of Terrorism: Psychosocial Adjustment and Interest in Interventions Following Terror Attacks


Schools in the Shadow of Terrorism: Psychosocial Adjustment and Interest in Interventions Following Terror Attacks

Abstract: 

Following terrorist events, teachers and nonteaching school personnel are important in helping children recover, yet little is known about their willingness to assist with this. We surveyed 399 employees from a Washington, D.C.-area school district following terror attacks (September 11, 2001, attacks; sniper shootings) about their exposure, adjustment, interest, and involvement in psychosocial interventions. Between 10% and 27% experienced one or more symptoms of posttraumatic stress (depending on category of symptom) in the month prior to the survey. Regression analyses revealed that peritraumatic distress, behavior change, and posttraumatic growth predicted interest in information on psychosocial interventions. Feeling prepared, adaptively managing work responsibilities, and perceiving an increase in student problems were related to intervening with students. Implications for school preparedness are discussed.

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Full Citation: 

Felix, Erica , and Eric M. Vernberge, Rose L. Pfefferbaum, Dodie C. Gill, John Schorr. 2010. "Schools in the Shadow of Terrorism: Psychosocial Adjustment and Interest in Interventions Following Terror Attacks." Psychology in Schools 47:592-605.

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