Journal of Urban Health

, Volume 82, Issue 3, pp 364–369 | Cite as

PTSD and depression among displaced Chinese workers after the world trade center attack: A follow-up study

  • Heike Thiel de Bocanegra
  • Sophia Moskalenko
  • Priscilla Chan
Article

Abstract

We conducted a follow-up assessment to assess the development of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and depression among Chinese immigrants after the World Trade Center attack. Sixty-five Chinese displaced workers who were originally interviewed in May 2002 were re-interviewed in March 2003. Whereas depression scores decreased over time, avergae PTSD scores remained unchanged. The trajectory of posttraumatic stress symptoms was more complex, with an increasing number of individuals who show no or little emotional health problems and another increasing group of individuals with exacerbated posttraumatic stress symptoms. Although the mean values of the re-experiencing and hypervigilance cluster did not change over time, the mean value of the avoidance/numbing cluster increased significantly from time 1 (M=4.60, SD=4.98) to time 2 (M=6.34, SD=4.24), (F1.61=5.69, P=.02). A higher proportion of subjects met diagnostic criteria of PTSD at time 2 (27%) than at time 1 (21%). The study highlights the importance of ongoing mental health surveillance of diverse cultural and linguistic groups after a major traumatic event.

Keywords

Chinese-American Depression New York PTSD Terrorism WTC attacks 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Thiel de Bocanegra H, Brickman E. Mental health impact of the World Trade Center attacks on displaced Chinese workers. J Trauma Stress. 2004;17:55–62.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Southwick SM, Morgan CA, Darnell A, Bremner D. Trauma related symptoms in veterans of Operation Desert Storm: a 2-year follow up. Am J Psychiatry. 1995; 152:1150–1155.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Sprang G. Coping strategies and traumatic stress symptomatology following the Oklahoma city bombing. Soc Work Soc Sci Rev. 2000;8:207–218.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Arata C, Picou J, Johnson G, McNally T. Coping with technological disaster: an application of the conservation of resources model to Exxon Valdez oil spill. J Trauma Stress. 2004;13:23–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Baum A, Gatchel R, Schaffer M. Emotional, behavioral and physiological effects of chronic stress at Three Mile Island. J Consult Clin Psychol. 1983;51:565–572.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bland S, O’Leary E, Farinaro E, Jossa F, Trevisan M. Long-term psychological effects of natural disasters. Psychosom Med. 1996;58:18–24.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Howard W, Loberiza F, Pfol B, Thorne P, Magpantay R, Woolson R. Initial results, reliability, and validity of a mental health survey of Mount Pinatubo disaster victims. J Nerv Ment Dis. 1999;187:661–672.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Nader K, Pynoos R, Fairbanks L, Frederick C. Children’s PTSD reactions one year after a sniper attack in their school. Am J Psychiatry. 1990;147:1526–1530.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Shwartz E, Kowalsky J. Posttraumatic stress disorder after a school shooting: effects of symptom threshold selection and diagnosis by DSM-III, DSM-III-R proposed DSM-IV. Am J Psychiatry. 1991;148:592–597.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Scott R, Brooks N, McKinlay W. Post-traumatic morbidity in a civilian community of litigants: a follow-up at 3 years. J Trauma Stress. 1995;8:403–417.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Bolton D, O’Ryan D, Udwin O, Boyle S, Yule W. The long-term psychological effects of a disaster experienced in adolescence: II. General psychopathology. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2000;41:513–523.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Brooks N, McKinlay W. Mental health consequences of the Lockerbie disaster. J Trauma Stress. 1992;5:527–543.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Davidson L, Baum A. Chronic stress and postraumatic stress disorders. J Consult Clin Psychol. 1986;54:303–308.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Durkin ME. Major depression and posttraumatic stress disorder following the Goalinga and Chile earthquakes: a cross-cultural comparison. J Soc Behav Pers. 1993;8:405–420.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Goenjian A, Pynoos R, Steinberg A, et al. Psychiatric comorbidity in chidren after the 1988 earthquake in Armenia. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1995;34:1174–1184.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Blanchard E, Jones-Alexander J, Buckley T, Forneris C. Psychometric properties of the PTSD Checklist. Behav Res Ther. 1996;34:669–673.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Beck AT, Steer RA. Manual for the Beck Depression Inventory. San Antonio, TX: The Psychological Corporation; 1993.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Norris F, Perilla J, Riad J, Kaniasty K, Lavizzo E. Stability and change in stress, resources and psychological distress following natural disaster: findings from Hurricane Andrew, Anxiety Stress Coping. 1999;12:363–396.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Chen H, Chung H, Chen T, Fang L, Chen JP. The emotional distress in a community after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. Community Ment Health J. 2003;39:157–165.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Oxford University Press on behalf of the New York Academy of Medicine 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heike Thiel de Bocanegra
    • 1
  • Sophia Moskalenko
    • 2
  • Priscilla Chan
    • 3
  1. 1.Center for Reproductive Health Research & PolicyUniversity of CaliforniaSan Francisco
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphia
  3. 3.Chinese-American Planning Council, Community ServicesNew York

Personalised recommendations