A focus group study of the impact of trauma exposure in the 9/11 terrorist attacks

Carol S North, Carissa J. Barney, David E. Pollio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: Much of the mental health research that has emerged from the September 11 (9/11) attacks has been focused on posttraumatic stress disorder and its symptoms. To better understand the broader experience of individuals following a disaster, focus groups were conducted with individuals from affected companies both at Ground Zero and elsewhere in New York City.

Methods: Twenty-one focus groups with a total of 140 participants were conducted in the second post-9/11 year. Areas of identified concern were coded into the following themes: Disaster Experience, Emotional Responses, Workplace Issues, Coping, and Issues of Public Concern.

Results: Discussions of focus groups included material represented in all five themes in companies both at Ground Zero and elsewhere. The emphasis and the content within these themes varied between the Ground Zero and other companies. Content suggesting symptoms of PTSD represented only a minority of the material, especially in the company groups not at Ground Zero.

Conclusions: This study’s findings revealed an array of psychosocial concerns following the 9/11 attacks among employees of companies in New York City that extended far beyond PTSD. This study’s results provide further evidence that trauma exposure is central to individuals’ post-disaster experience and focus, and to individuals’ adjustment and experience after disaster.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)569-578
Number of pages10
JournalSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Volume50
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

Fingerprint

Disasters
study group
Focus Groups
trauma
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders
disaster
Wounds and Injuries
Social Adjustment
experience
Group
Workplace
posttraumatic stress disorder
Mental Health
coping
workplace
mental health
employee
minority
Research
evidence

Keywords

  • Disaster
  • Focus groups
  • Mental health
  • Psychosocial concerns
  • September 11 terrorist attacks
  • Trauma exposure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Epidemiology
  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology

Cite this

A focus group study of the impact of trauma exposure in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. / North, Carol S; Barney, Carissa J.; Pollio, David E.

In: Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, Vol. 50, No. 4, 2015, p. 569-578.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{6e585fbdd300487483e8997bf8d28a63,
title = "A focus group study of the impact of trauma exposure in the 9/11 terrorist attacks",
abstract = "Purpose: Much of the mental health research that has emerged from the September 11 (9/11) attacks has been focused on posttraumatic stress disorder and its symptoms. To better understand the broader experience of individuals following a disaster, focus groups were conducted with individuals from affected companies both at Ground Zero and elsewhere in New York City.Methods: Twenty-one focus groups with a total of 140 participants were conducted in the second post-9/11 year. Areas of identified concern were coded into the following themes: Disaster Experience, Emotional Responses, Workplace Issues, Coping, and Issues of Public Concern.Results: Discussions of focus groups included material represented in all five themes in companies both at Ground Zero and elsewhere. The emphasis and the content within these themes varied between the Ground Zero and other companies. Content suggesting symptoms of PTSD represented only a minority of the material, especially in the company groups not at Ground Zero.Conclusions: This study’s findings revealed an array of psychosocial concerns following the 9/11 attacks among employees of companies in New York City that extended far beyond PTSD. This study’s results provide further evidence that trauma exposure is central to individuals’ post-disaster experience and focus, and to individuals’ adjustment and experience after disaster.",
keywords = "Disaster, Focus groups, Mental health, Psychosocial concerns, September 11 terrorist attacks, Trauma exposure",
author = "North, {Carol S} and Barney, {Carissa J.} and Pollio, {David E.}",
year = "2015",
doi = "10.1007/s00127-014-0970-5",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "50",
pages = "569--578",
journal = "Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology",
issn = "0933-7954",
publisher = "D. Steinkopff-Verlag",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - A focus group study of the impact of trauma exposure in the 9/11 terrorist attacks

AU - North, Carol S

AU - Barney, Carissa J.

AU - Pollio, David E.

PY - 2015

Y1 - 2015

N2 - Purpose: Much of the mental health research that has emerged from the September 11 (9/11) attacks has been focused on posttraumatic stress disorder and its symptoms. To better understand the broader experience of individuals following a disaster, focus groups were conducted with individuals from affected companies both at Ground Zero and elsewhere in New York City.Methods: Twenty-one focus groups with a total of 140 participants were conducted in the second post-9/11 year. Areas of identified concern were coded into the following themes: Disaster Experience, Emotional Responses, Workplace Issues, Coping, and Issues of Public Concern.Results: Discussions of focus groups included material represented in all five themes in companies both at Ground Zero and elsewhere. The emphasis and the content within these themes varied between the Ground Zero and other companies. Content suggesting symptoms of PTSD represented only a minority of the material, especially in the company groups not at Ground Zero.Conclusions: This study’s findings revealed an array of psychosocial concerns following the 9/11 attacks among employees of companies in New York City that extended far beyond PTSD. This study’s results provide further evidence that trauma exposure is central to individuals’ post-disaster experience and focus, and to individuals’ adjustment and experience after disaster.

AB - Purpose: Much of the mental health research that has emerged from the September 11 (9/11) attacks has been focused on posttraumatic stress disorder and its symptoms. To better understand the broader experience of individuals following a disaster, focus groups were conducted with individuals from affected companies both at Ground Zero and elsewhere in New York City.Methods: Twenty-one focus groups with a total of 140 participants were conducted in the second post-9/11 year. Areas of identified concern were coded into the following themes: Disaster Experience, Emotional Responses, Workplace Issues, Coping, and Issues of Public Concern.Results: Discussions of focus groups included material represented in all five themes in companies both at Ground Zero and elsewhere. The emphasis and the content within these themes varied between the Ground Zero and other companies. Content suggesting symptoms of PTSD represented only a minority of the material, especially in the company groups not at Ground Zero.Conclusions: This study’s findings revealed an array of psychosocial concerns following the 9/11 attacks among employees of companies in New York City that extended far beyond PTSD. This study’s results provide further evidence that trauma exposure is central to individuals’ post-disaster experience and focus, and to individuals’ adjustment and experience after disaster.

KW - Disaster

KW - Focus groups

KW - Mental health

KW - Psychosocial concerns

KW - September 11 terrorist attacks

KW - Trauma exposure

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84925541669&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84925541669&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/s00127-014-0970-5

DO - 10.1007/s00127-014-0970-5

M3 - Article

C2 - 25319111

AN - SCOPUS:84925541669

VL - 50

SP - 569

EP - 578

JO - Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

JF - Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

SN - 0933-7954

IS - 4

ER -