An empirical study of employment and disability over three years among survivors of major disasters

Sarah S. Rasco, Carol S North

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study was designed to clarify the relationship between exposure to disaster and future employment. Survivors of seven disasters and their employment histories were prospectively followed over three years. At the time of the disasters, 86 percent were working, and at follow-up, 84 percent were working. All of the 261 individuals employed on the day of the disaster described themselves as not disabled at follow-up, although one individual who dropped out of the workforce to become a self-described housewife shortly after the disaster and who developed PTSD may have left the workforce because of lasting emotional effects of the disaster. The reasons she provided for changing job status were not disaster related, however. Long-standing employment disability was virtually nonexistent in this highly exposed sample of trauma survivors, but it is possible that some cases of PTSD-related disability were lost to follow-up. Further work is needed to explore psychological disability in other trauma survivor populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-86
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law
Volume38
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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