A Qualitative Analysis of Satisfaction With Justice and Desire for Revenge in Survivors of the September 11, 2001, Attacks on New York City's World Trade Center

Meagan Whitney, Emine Rabia Ayvaci, Saira M. Bhatti, Karen Duong, Lindsay E. Page, Tulsie N. Patel, Rachel E. Zettl, John Dykema, Jeffrey Sonis, David E. Pollio, Carol S. North

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2 Scopus citations


Background: Most of the existing research on the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 (9/11) has narrowly focused on posttraumatic stress disorder, limiting the potential to learn about other important consequences of this disaster. This qualitative study examined survivors' views of justice regarding the 9/11 attacks on New York City's World Trade Center. Method: A volunteer sample of 196 employees with varied 9/11 disaster-trauma exposures from 8 affected agencies in the New York City area was recruited approximately 35 months after the incident. The participants completed structured interviews about their disaster experiences and wrote brief essays describing what justice meant to them in relation to their experience of the 9/11 attacks. The qualitative analysis first identified 4 themes regarding justice and revenge in the text of the essays, and the content of the essays was then coded into these 4 themes, yielding final definitions of the content in them. Results: The accountability-for-perpetrators theme was coded in more essays than any other themes. The essays had little discussion of revenge relative to the amount of discussion on justice. PTS was not mentioned in any of the essays. Conclusion: These findings suggest the importance of broadening the focus of future studies examining justice in relation to disaster.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPeace and Conflict
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018



  • 9/11 terrorist attacks
  • Justice
  • Qualitative methods
  • Revenge
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations

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