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NCJ Number: 212034 Find in a Library
Title: September 11 Attacks: Prior Interpersonal Trauma, Dysfunctional Cognitions, and Trauma Response in a Midwestern University Sample
Journal: Violence and Victims  Volume:20  Issue:4  Dated:August 2005  Pages:471-480
Author(s): Reginald D. V. Nixon Ph.D.; Pallavi Nishith Ph.D.
Date Published: August 2005
Page Count: 10
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the possible traumatization effects on college students following the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, hypothesizing that maladaptive cognitions would contribute to posttraumatic adjustment to students indirectly exposed to the attacks.
Abstract: Research has shown that prior exposure to traumatic events has been demonstrated to be a risk factor for further victimization as well as the development of posttraumatic stress in both clinical and nonclinical samples. This study sought to examine the possible vicarious traumatization effects of the September 11 attacks in the United States in 2001. This study sample of college students, although not directly exposed to the attacks themselves, like the majority of the population, was nonetheless aware of the attacks. An assessment of post trauma adjustment was conducted 1 month following the attacks in order to determine the influence of cognitions on the acute trauma response. It was predicted that maladaptive trauma-related cognitions would mediate the relationship between prior interpersonal traumatic experiences and acute trauma reactions. Participants consisted of 133 undergraduate psychology students from a midwestern university. The findings partially supported the hypothesis. Qualitatively, it was clear that some students were significantly affected by the attacks, despite the indirect nature of the trauma exposure. The value of the study is that it provides tentative evidence that even in a nonpathological sample, trauma cognitions play an important role in determining adaptation following potentially traumatic events. Tables, references
Main Term(s): Post-trauma stress disorder (PTSD)
Index Term(s): Behavior under stress; Critical incident stress; Emotional disorders; Psychological evaluation; Psychological influences on crime; Psychological theories; Victimology
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