Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 194–200

Post-traumatic stress disorder and coping after a natural disaster


  • M. T. Spurrell
    • Department of PsychiatryWithington Hospital
  • A. C. McFarlane
    • Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Adelaide, Hillcrest Hospital

DOI: 10.1007/BF00797323

Cite this article as:
Spurrell, M.T. & McFarlane, A.C. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol (1993) 28: 194. doi:10.1007/BF00797323


This study examines the role of coping in the onset of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in a nonpatient population following exposure to a natural disaster. In contrast to other studies, the use of all coping strategies was found to be associated with the presence of PTSD rather than the absence of symptoms. These data suggest that coping (in this sense) represents a psychological process used to contain the distress caused by symptoms as well as to manage environmental adversity.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993