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  • Cited by 5
  • Print publication year: 2009
  • Online publication date: May 2010

13 - Child Mental Health in the Aftermath of Disaster:

from Part Four - Special Groups


This chapter deals with disaster mental health research in children, and systematically examines the extant literature, focusing on methodological issues. Children represent the ideal age group to study in order to gain insight into the etiology of psychopathology in the aftermath of disaster. Any postdisaster child assessment should necessarily involve a two-step process, including a detailed characterization of the child's exposure and the possible related reactions. The chapter proposes a three-category disaster typology based on the distribution of different types of disaster exposures. The chapter focuses on reports of reactions related to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in children after mass traumatic events, with studies being reviewed within the context of the proposed typology. Psychiatric disorders observed in children after large-scale traumatic events include a range of disorders, with PTSD and depression being the most commonly assessed.

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