After the fire-ball


A hypothetical aircraft accident scenario is described in which the pilot survives but some of the passengers are fatally injured. Information is provided on the acute situational anxiety that may occur in aircrew after any aviation accident, especially one in which lives are lost. A course of action is discussed which encourages early recognition and treatment of the potentially debilitating phenomenon termed "post-accident anxiety syndrome".

Three Mile Island. Psychology and environmental policy at a crossroads

Summarizes the research on the psychological stress that was precipitated by the Three Mile Island (TMI) nuclear reactor accident and that could be caused by a restart of TMI's undamaged reactor. The legal background of whether the reactor should be turned on again is explained within the context of case law concerning recovery of damages caused by emotional trauma. Recent court decisions are explored for implications regarding the role of psychology in environmental use assessments that may be required by the National Environmental Policy Act.

Mediating influences of social support on stress at Three Mile Island


Symptom reporting, task performance, and urinary catecholamine excretion were studied in a group of people living near the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant and in control populations. More than a year after the accident, living near the damaged reactor was associated with elevations in all indices of stress compared with control levels. Social support mediated these stress indices such that higher levels were associated with fewer psychological and behavioral symptoms of stress. Biochemical measures showed a different pattern of results.