The effects of a natural disaster on child behavior: evidence for posttraumatic stress



A prospective study of children examined both before and after a flood disaster in Bangladesh is used to test the hypothesis that stressful events play a causal role in the development of behavioral disorders in children.


Six months before the disaster, structured measures of selected behavioral problems were made during an epidemiological study of disability among 2- to 9-year-old children. Five months after the disaster, a representative sample of 162 surviving children was reevaluated.


Post-traumatic stress disorder and coping after a natural disaster


This study examines the role of coping in the onset of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in a nonpatient population following exposure to a natural disaster. In contrast to other studies, the use of all coping strategies was found to be associated with the presence of PTSD rather than the absence of symptoms. These data suggest that coping (in this sense) represents a psychological process used to contain the distress caused by symptoms as well as to manage environmental adversity.

The psychological treatment of patients with functional somatic symptoms: a practical guide.


Functional somatic symptoms (FSS) are bodily sensations which do not result from physical disease, but which the patient responds to as if they did. Such symptoms are common and usually transient. In some patients they become persistent and associated with distress and disability. In such cases specific treatment is indicated. A cognitive-behavioural model of the aetiology of FSS and a psychological treatment approach based on the model, are outlined. The practical details of treatment are described.

Somatic symptoms after a natural disaster: a prospective study.


The authors prospectively examined the prevalence of somatization symptoms among community respondents after a natural disaster in Puerto Rico. Exposure to the disaster was related to a higher prevalence of medically unexplained physical symptoms, particularly gastrointestinal ones (abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, excessive gas) and pseudoneurological ones (amnesia, paralysis, fainting, unusual spells/double vision).