The effect of a large scale oil spill disaster on the academic achievement and classroom behavior of children and adolescents who lived on the Galician coast (Spain) is studied from an ecological perspective. 430 participants divided into three age groups of 5, 10, and 15 years of age, were studied. The participants came from three areas differently affected by the disaster. Dependent variables were academic achievement and classroom behavior of the participants after the Prestige disaster. Degree of exposure and other protective or risk factors were investigated as well. Repeated measures ANOVA to assess the main effects of the oil spill and hierarchical regression analyses to assess the contribution of the protective/vulnerability factors were performed.
The results indicate that the effects of the disaster were relatively scarce. Some protective factors accounted for a certain degree of variance of different schoolroom behaviors. These results point to the intervention of protective factors in the adaptation to the disaster.