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Hurricane Hugo blows down the broccoli: Preschoolers' post-disaster play and adjustment


This article reports highlights from over 200 parents' observations of their preschoolers' play and verbalizations in the year following Hurricane Hugo. Commonly reported activities included reenactment and discussion of the event in multiple mediums, personification of “Hugo”, and expression of fears related to storms. Precocious concern for others, insight, and vocabulary were also noted. In these intact, relatively high functioning families, parents seemed able to facilitate their youngsters' adjustment without outside intervention.

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Saylor, C.F., Swenson, C.C. & Powell, P. Hurricane Hugo blows down the broccoli: Preschoolers' post-disaster play and adjustment. Child Psych Hum Dev 22, 139–149 (1992).

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Key words

  • Hurricane
  • preschool
  • post-traumatic play
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder