By Fran H. Norris PhD, Sandro Galea MD MPH DPH, Matthew J. Friedman MD PhD, Patricia J. Watson PhD
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Extra resources for Methods for Disaster Mental Health Research
In our opinion, capturing the collective aspects of disaster exposure (and resulting complexities) is an important goal for future research. 32 INTRODUCTION TO THE FIELD Gender With few exceptions, studies that have examined gender differences have almost always found female survivors to be more adversely affected. , 1999; Steinglass & Gerrity, 1990). Effects of gender are stronger in some cultures or contexts than in others (Norris, Perilla, Ibañez, & Murphy, 2001; Webster, McDonald, Lewin, & Carr, 1995).
Government Printing Office. , & Kaniasty, K. (2002). 60,000 disaster victims speak: Part I. An empirical review of the empirical literature, 1981– 2001. Psychiatry, 65, 207–239. , et al. (1999). Psychiatric disorders among survivors of the Oklahoma City bombing. Journal of the American Medical Association, 282, 755–762. Oxford English Dictionary (1987). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. , & Norris, F. (1989). Psychological symptoms in older adults following disaster: Nature, timing, duration, and course.
Magnitude of Effects Of course, not all disasters are equally serious from a public health perspective. A few samples in this review (9%) showed only minimal or highly transient effects. The majority of the samples (50%) showed moderate effects, indicative of prolonged stress but little psychopathology. In these samples, depending upon the study’s design, there were significant differences between exposed participants and some comparison group, changes between predisaster and postdisaster mental health measures, or significant correlations between exposure measures and mental health measures.