Current Psychology

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 77–85 | Cite as

Adolescents’ reactions to the world trade center destruction: A study of political trauma in metropolitan New York

Current Research


This study examined the emotional response of 110 adolescents living in the New York metropolitan area one month and five months after the destruction of the World Trade Center (WTC) by terrorists. The purpose of the study was to assess emerging hypotheses in political psychology that suggest that there are differential emotional responses to a national trauma that recede in predictable directions. The results followed predictions and indicate that adolescents experienced a higher level of emotions related to the Crisis and Bereavement dimension than affect associated with Vulnerability and that the emotional response decreased during the four-month follow-up period. There was no effect on emotional response from the biological sex or political orientation of the respondents, which is inconsistent with other studies in the literature. The absence of a political orientation effect is explained in terms of the lack of a domestic ideological difference in response to the terrorist attack.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Princeton UniversityUSA
  2. 2.University of MiamiUSA

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