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Youth's Reactions to Disasters and the Factors That Influence Their Response


Youth’s reactions to disasters include stress reactions, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and comorbid conditions. A number of factors contribute to outcome including characteristics of the event; the nature of the youth’s exposure; and individual, family, and social predictors. Demographic features may be less important than exposure and other individual variables like preexisting conditions and exposure to other trauma. While youth’s disaster reactions reflect their developmental status and thus may differ from those of adults, their reactions generally parallel those of their parents in degree. Family factors that appear to influence youth’s reactions include parental reactions and the quality of interactions within the family. Social factors have not been well examined. We describe these outcomes and predictors to prepare professionals who may work with youth in post-disaster situations.

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Pfefferbaum, Betty, J. Brian Houston, Carol S. North, and James L. Regens. 2008. "Youth's Reactions to Disasters and the Factors That Influence Their Response." The Prevention Researcher 15 (January): 3-6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2785039/

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