A prospective study of coping after exposure to a mass murder episode

Carol S North, E. L. Spitznagel, E. M. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In a study of 136 survivors of a mass murder spree, multidimensional scaling identified clusters of responses mapping from 75 coping behaviors described by victims. This powerful method identified three coping dimensions: (a) Active Outreach versus Passive Isolation, (b) Informed Pragmatism versus Abandonment of Control, and (c) Reconciliation/Acceptance versus Evading the Status Quo. These coping dimensions were used to predict change in psychiatric status prospectively assessed with structured diagnostic interviews at index 3-4 months after the event and follow-up assessments 1 and 3 years later. Statistically significant changes in the positive direction on each of the three dimensions in this study were associated with reductions of 47-79% of the odds for acute postdisaster major depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and any non-PTSD disorder. These findings suggest mechanisms for development of therapeutic techniques capitalizing on encouraging active outreach, informed focus and pragmatism, and reconciliation and acceptance, and reduction of passive and isolative behaviors, resignation of control, and avoidance of realities of the postdisaster situation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-87
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Clinical Psychiatry
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001

Fingerprint

Behavior Control
Homicide
Psychological Adaptation
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders
Psychiatry
Survivors
Prospective Studies
Interviews
Depression
Therapeutics
Direction compound

Keywords

  • Coping
  • Disaster
  • Multidimensional scaling
  • Posttraumatic stress
  • Psychiatric disorder
  • Traumatic events

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

A prospective study of coping after exposure to a mass murder episode. / North, Carol S; Spitznagel, E. L.; Smith, E. M.

In: Annals of Clinical Psychiatry, Vol. 13, No. 2, 2001, p. 81-87.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

North, Carol S ; Spitznagel, E. L. ; Smith, E. M. / A prospective study of coping after exposure to a mass murder episode. In: Annals of Clinical Psychiatry. 2001 ; Vol. 13, No. 2. pp. 81-87.
@article{d0bf10ca03e7462883c41e58d1c4141e,
title = "A prospective study of coping after exposure to a mass murder episode",
abstract = "In a study of 136 survivors of a mass murder spree, multidimensional scaling identified clusters of responses mapping from 75 coping behaviors described by victims. This powerful method identified three coping dimensions: (a) Active Outreach versus Passive Isolation, (b) Informed Pragmatism versus Abandonment of Control, and (c) Reconciliation/Acceptance versus Evading the Status Quo. These coping dimensions were used to predict change in psychiatric status prospectively assessed with structured diagnostic interviews at index 3-4 months after the event and follow-up assessments 1 and 3 years later. Statistically significant changes in the positive direction on each of the three dimensions in this study were associated with reductions of 47-79{\%} of the odds for acute postdisaster major depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and any non-PTSD disorder. These findings suggest mechanisms for development of therapeutic techniques capitalizing on encouraging active outreach, informed focus and pragmatism, and reconciliation and acceptance, and reduction of passive and isolative behaviors, resignation of control, and avoidance of realities of the postdisaster situation.",
keywords = "Coping, Disaster, Multidimensional scaling, Posttraumatic stress, Psychiatric disorder, Traumatic events",
author = "North, {Carol S} and Spitznagel, {E. L.} and Smith, {E. M.}",
year = "2001",
doi = "10.1023/A:1016615607649",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "13",
pages = "81--87",
journal = "Annals of Clinical Psychiatry",
issn = "1040-1237",
publisher = "Dowden Health Media,Inc",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - A prospective study of coping after exposure to a mass murder episode

AU - North, Carol S

AU - Spitznagel, E. L.

AU - Smith, E. M.

PY - 2001

Y1 - 2001

N2 - In a study of 136 survivors of a mass murder spree, multidimensional scaling identified clusters of responses mapping from 75 coping behaviors described by victims. This powerful method identified three coping dimensions: (a) Active Outreach versus Passive Isolation, (b) Informed Pragmatism versus Abandonment of Control, and (c) Reconciliation/Acceptance versus Evading the Status Quo. These coping dimensions were used to predict change in psychiatric status prospectively assessed with structured diagnostic interviews at index 3-4 months after the event and follow-up assessments 1 and 3 years later. Statistically significant changes in the positive direction on each of the three dimensions in this study were associated with reductions of 47-79% of the odds for acute postdisaster major depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and any non-PTSD disorder. These findings suggest mechanisms for development of therapeutic techniques capitalizing on encouraging active outreach, informed focus and pragmatism, and reconciliation and acceptance, and reduction of passive and isolative behaviors, resignation of control, and avoidance of realities of the postdisaster situation.

AB - In a study of 136 survivors of a mass murder spree, multidimensional scaling identified clusters of responses mapping from 75 coping behaviors described by victims. This powerful method identified three coping dimensions: (a) Active Outreach versus Passive Isolation, (b) Informed Pragmatism versus Abandonment of Control, and (c) Reconciliation/Acceptance versus Evading the Status Quo. These coping dimensions were used to predict change in psychiatric status prospectively assessed with structured diagnostic interviews at index 3-4 months after the event and follow-up assessments 1 and 3 years later. Statistically significant changes in the positive direction on each of the three dimensions in this study were associated with reductions of 47-79% of the odds for acute postdisaster major depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and any non-PTSD disorder. These findings suggest mechanisms for development of therapeutic techniques capitalizing on encouraging active outreach, informed focus and pragmatism, and reconciliation and acceptance, and reduction of passive and isolative behaviors, resignation of control, and avoidance of realities of the postdisaster situation.

KW - Coping

KW - Disaster

KW - Multidimensional scaling

KW - Posttraumatic stress

KW - Psychiatric disorder

KW - Traumatic events

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0034876259&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0034876259&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1023/A:1016615607649

DO - 10.1023/A:1016615607649

M3 - Article

C2 - 11534929

AN - SCOPUS:0034876259

VL - 13

SP - 81

EP - 87

JO - Annals of Clinical Psychiatry

JF - Annals of Clinical Psychiatry

SN - 1040-1237

IS - 2

ER -