Impact of childhood exposure to a natural disaster on adult mental health: 20-year longitudinal follow-up study

  title={Impact of childhood exposure to a natural disaster on adult mental health: 20-year longitudinal follow-up study},
  author={Alexander C. McFarlane and Miranda L. van Hooff},
  journal={British Journal of Psychiatry},
  pages={142 - 148}
Background Studies examining the impact of childhood disaster exposure on the development of adult psychopathology report increased rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other psychopathology. Aims To examine the rates of PTSD and other lifetime DSM–IV disorders in adults exposed to an Australian bushfire disaster as children in 1983 using a matched control sample recruited at the time of the original study. Method A total of 1011 adults recruited from an original sample of 1531… 
Long-Term Mental Health Among Low-Income, Minority Women Following Exposure to Multiple Natural Disasters in Early and Late Adolescence Compared to Adulthood
Younger age at the time of a natural disaster may confer a protective effect on mental health outcomes post-disaster, even when disaster experiences are considered, potentially representing the importance of parental support and cognitive development on disaster effects.
Prevalence and trajectory of psychopathology among child and adolescent survivors of disasters: a systematic review of epidemiological studies across 1987–2011
The empirical findings summarized in this review highlight the importance of psychosocial intervention at early postdisaster stages for child and adolescent survivors and indicate the need for continued attempts to better understand the epidemiology and trajectory of psychopathological problems among youthful survivors.
Impact of a major disaster on the mental health of a well-studied cohort.
Following extensive control for prospectively measured confounding factors, exposure to the Canterbury earthquakes was associated with a small to moderate increase in the risk for common mental health problems.
Children exposed to a natural disaster: psychological consequences eight years after 2004 tsunami
The negative psychological impact on children and adolescents can still be present eight years post-disaster and seems to have association with the type of exposure; loss, physical presence and subjective experience.
The Effects of Maternal Disaster Exposure on Adolescent Mental Health 12 Years Later.
Natural disasters adversely impact children's mental health, with increased parent or child exposure and subsequent parental distress predicting poorer outcomes. It remains unknown, however, whether
The objective of this article was to conduct a systematic review of long-term follow-up studies on Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms in children and adolescents. The MEDLINE and PsycINFO
Mental Health Outcomes and Predictors of Chronic Disorders After the North Sea Oil Rig Disaster: 27-Year Longitudinal Follow-Up Study
Findings from this study suggest that increased risk of psychopathology persists 27 years after disaster, and both disaster exposure and vulnerable personality are important predictors of chronic psychopathology.
Sixteen-year follow-up of childhood avalanche survivors
PTSD symptoms following avalanche exposure during childhood were associated with poorer socioeconomic status in adulthood, which underscores the importance of strengthening children's support systems in the aftermath of disasters.


The Aberfan disaster: 33-year follow-up of survivors.
Trauma in childhood can lead to PTSD, and PTSD symptoms can persist for as long as 33 years into adult life, and rates of other psychopathological disorders are not necessarily raised after life-threatening childhood trauma.
The long-term psychological effects of a disaster experienced in adolescence: I: The incidence and course of PTSD.
The present paper is the first a series reporting on the long-term follow-up of a group of young adults who as teenagers had survived a shipping disaster-the sinking of the "Jupiter" in Greek waters-between 5 and 8 years previously, and comparing survivors with a community control group.
The long-term psychological effects of a disaster experienced in adolescence: II: General psychopathology.
Differences in rates of disorder between the survivor and control groups had lessened by the time of follow-up but were still apparent, due to continuing distress among the survivors still suffering from PTSD, and to a lesser extent among those who had recovered from PTSD.
Risk factors for long-term psychological effects of a disaster experienced in adolescence: predictors of post traumatic stress disorder.
Developing PTSD following the disaster was significantly associated with being female, with pre-disaster factors of learning and psychological difficulties in the child and violence in the home, with severity of exposure to the disaster, survivors' subjective appraisal of the experience, adjustment in the early post-disasters period, and life events and social supports subsequently.
Children of disaster in the second decade: a 17-year follow-up of Buffalo Creek survivors.
The findings indicated that the children studied, although having shown earlier effects, had "recovered" from the event by the time of long-term follow-up.
A second look at prior trauma and the posttraumatic stress disorder effects of subsequent trauma: a prospective epidemiological study.
Prior trauma increases the risk of PTSD after a subsequent trauma only among persons who developed PTSD in response to the prior trauma, and preexisting susceptibility to a pathological response to stressors may account for that response.
Post-traumatic stress disorder: findings from the Australian National Survey of Mental Health and Well-being
R rape and sexual molestation were the traumatic events most likely to be associated with PTSD, and a high level of Axis 1 co-morbidity was found among those persons with PTSD.
Seven-year follow-up of child survivors of a bus-train collision.
  • S. Tyano, I. Iancu, A. Bleich
  • Psychology, Medicine
    Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • 1996
The results suggest that the investigation and assessment of long-term adjustment after traumatic events should take into account both contextual factors, such as the level of exposure to the event, and personal factors,such as the victims' immediate reactions.
Long-term outcome of trauma in children: the psychological consequences of a bus accident.
  • D. Winje, A. Ulvik
  • Psychology, Medicine
    Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines
  • 1998
The clinical implications of the study are that symptoms in all children of traumatised families deserve attention during the first year post-trauma, and that objective risk indicators do not provide sufficient information to identify children at risk.
A prospective study of posttraumatic stress and depressive reactions among treated and untreated adolescents 5 years after a catastrophic disaster.
Untreated adolescents exposed to severe trauma are at risk for chronic PTSD and depressive symptoms and the implementation of mental health intervention programs in schools after disasters to reduce trauma-related psychopathology is supported.