Experience of the September 11 Terrorist Attacks by Airline Flight Staff

Carol S North, David E. Pollio, Barry A. Hong, Alina M Suris, Elizabeth Terry Westerhaus, Debra Munro Kienstra, Rebecca P. Smith, Betty Pfefferbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


The purpose of this exploratory study was to investigate the 9/11-related experiences, observations, and perceptions of airline flight staff highly connected to the terrorist attacks and the effects of the attacks on their work. A focus group of seven flight staff was conducted in January 2004. Spoken passages (N = 115) were categorized into themes, with excellent interrater reliability. Item count frequencies were tabulated for each theme. Five themes emerged: disaster experience, emotional response, perceived danger, interpersonal response, and workplace response. The flight staff characterized their daily work as front-line duty fraught with danger, uncertainty, and vivid reminders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)322-341
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Loss and Trauma
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2013


  • disaster
  • focus groups
  • psychosocial
  • qualitative analysis
  • terrorism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Social Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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  • Cite this

    North, C. S., Pollio, D. E., Hong, B. A., Suris, A. M., Westerhaus, E. T., Kienstra, D. M., Smith, R. P., & Pfefferbaum, B. (2013). Experience of the September 11 Terrorist Attacks by Airline Flight Staff. Journal of Loss and Trauma, 18(4), 322-341. https://doi.org/10.1080/15325024.2012.701123