Advertisement

Journal of Traumatic Stress

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 71–92 | Cite as

Mental health consequences of the San Ysidro McDonald's massacre: A community study

  • Richard L. Hough
  • William Vega
  • Ramon Valle
  • Bohdan Kolody
  • Richard Griswald del Castillo
  • Henry Tarke
Article

Abstract

This paper reports on the reactions of a portion of the population of San Ysidro, California, to the McDonald's massacre in 1984. Recently immigrant, poor, Mexican American women, 35–50 years of age, who were not directly involved in the accident were surveyed to determine their emotional reactions approximately 6 months following the massacre. Approximately one third of the women indicated they were seriously affected by the event. Some 12% reported had mild or severe levels of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptomatology at some point in time since the massacre and some 6% still felt symptoms 6 to 9 months after the event. The women most affected were those having relatives or friends involved in the massacre and those with general social vulnerability (e.g., the widowed, separated, or divorced, unemployed and those with less income and fair to poor health). These women reported relatively little impact on their children. Onset and chronicity of PTSD and health care utilization patterns were also explored. Results of more intensive, open ended interviews with the women most affected by the event are summarized.

Key words

post-traumatic stress disorder Mexican American community survey massacre 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Adler, A. (1943). Neuropsychiatric complications in victims of Boston's Cocoanut Grove disaster.J. Am. Med. Assoc. 123: 1098–1101.Google Scholar
  2. Ahearn, F., and Cohen, R. E. (1987).Disaster and Mental Health: An Annotated Bibliography National Institute of Mental Health, Rockville, Md.Google Scholar
  3. American Psychiatric Association. (1980).Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (third edition), American Psychiatric Association, Washington D.C.Google Scholar
  4. Andreasen, N. C. J., Norris, A. S., and Hartford, C. E. (1971). Incidence of long-term psychiatric complications in severely burned adults.Ann. Surg. 174: 785–793.Google Scholar
  5. Baum, G., Getchel, R. J., and Schaeffer, M. A. (1983). Emotional, behavioral and physiological effects of chronic stress at Three Mile Island.J. Consult. Clin. Psychol. 51: 565–572.Google Scholar
  6. Bromet, E., and Dunn, L. (1981). Mental health of mothers nine months after the Three Mile Island accident.Urban Soc. Change Rev. 14: 12–15.Google Scholar
  7. Card, J. J. (1982).Lives After Vietnam: The Personal Impact of Military Service Lexington Books, Lexington, Mass.Google Scholar
  8. Figley, C. R. (ed.) (1985).Trauma and Its Wake: The Study of Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Brunner Mazel, New York.Google Scholar
  9. Figley, C. R. (ed.) (1985).Trauma and Its Wake Volume II: Traumatic Stress Theory, Research and Intervention Brunner Mazel, New York.Google Scholar
  10. Finkelhor, D., Glles, R. J., Hotaling, G. T., and Straus, M. A. (1983).The Dark Side of Families: Current Family Violence Research Sage, Beverly Hills.Google Scholar
  11. Green, B. L., Grace, M. C., and Lindy, J. D. (1983). Levels of functional impairment following a civilian disaster: The Beverly Hills Supper Club fire.J. Consult. Clin. Psychol. 50: 573–580.Google Scholar
  12. Helzer, J. E., Robins, L. N., and McEvoy, L. (1987). Post-traumatic stress disorder in the general population.N. Engl. J. Med. 317: 1630–1634.Google Scholar
  13. Kilpatrick, D., Veronen, L., and Resick, R. (1979). The aftermath of rape: Recent empirical findings.Am. J. Orthopsychiatry 49: 568–569.Google Scholar
  14. Lofland, J. (1967).Analyzing Social Settings Wadsworth Publishing Inc., Belmont, Calif.Google Scholar
  15. Logue, J. N., Melick, M. E., and Hansen, H. (1981). Research issues and directions in the epidemiology of health effects of disaster.Epidem. Rev. 33: 140–162.Google Scholar
  16. Radloff, L. S., and Locke, B. Z. (1986). The Community Mental Health Assessment Survey and the CES-D Scale. In Weissman, M. M., Myers, J. K., and Ross, C. E. (eds.),Community Surveys of Psychiatric Disorders New Brunswick, Rutgers University Press, N.J.Google Scholar
  17. Rogers, E. (1983).The Diffusion of Innovation The Free Press, New York.Google Scholar
  18. Shore, J. H., Tatum, E. L., and Vollmer, W. M. (1986). Psychiatric reactions to disaster: The Mount St. Helens experience.Am. J. Psychiatry 143: 590–595.Google Scholar
  19. Siegel, J. M., Burnam, M. A., Stein, J. A., Golding, J. M., and Sorenson, S. B. (1986).Sexual Assault and Psychiatric Disorder: A Preliminary Investigation Report submitted to the Antisocial and Violent Behavior Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, University of California, Los Angeles.Google Scholar
  20. Symonds, M. (1975). Victims of violence: Psychological effects and after-effects.Am. J. Psychoanalysis 35: 12–26.Google Scholar
  21. Titchener, J. L., and Kapp, F. T. (1976). Family and character change at Buffalo Creek.Am. J. Psychiatry 133: 295–299.Google Scholar
  22. Valle, R. (1980). Social mapping techniques: A preliminary guide for locating and linking to natural networks. In Valle, R., and Vega, W. (eds.),Hispanic Natural Support Systems State of California, Department of Mental Health, Sacramento.Google Scholar
  23. Vega, W. A., Valle, R., Kolody, B., and Hough, R. L. (1987). The Hispanic Social Network Prevention Intervention Study: A community-based randomized trial. In Munoz, R. (ed.),The Prevention of Depression: Research Directions Hemisphere Publishing Corportion, New York.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard L. Hough
    • 1
  • William Vega
    • 2
  • Ramon Valle
    • 1
  • Bohdan Kolody
    • 1
  • Richard Griswald del Castillo
    • 1
  • Henry Tarke
    • 3
  1. 1.San Diego State UniversitySan Diego
  2. 2.University of MiamiCoral Gables
  3. 3.Department of Mental HealthSan Diego CountySan Diego

Personalised recommendations