Prolonged Psychosocial Effects of Disaster - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780122862601, 9781483265704

Prolonged Psychosocial Effects of Disaster

1st Edition

A Study of Buffalo Creek

Authors: Goldine C. Gleser Bonnie L. Green Carolyn Winget
Editors: David T. Lykken
eBook ISBN: 9781483265704
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 28th June 1981
Page Count: 190
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Prolonged Psychosocial Effects of Disaster: A Study of Buffalo Creek disseminates the findings of an investigation into the psychosocial effects of a specific disaster - the collapse of a slag dam that inundated the valley of Buffalo Creek in West Virginia on February 26, 1972. Based on interviews with more than 600 men, women, and children for whom psychic impairment was claimed, this volume examines the relationships between the individual disaster experiences of the survivors and their later psychological functioning.

Comprised of nine chapters, this volume begins with an overview of the psychosocial consequences of disasters and an account of the Buffalo Creek disaster itself, along with the subsequent lawsuit against the coal company. The next chapter explains how the psychopathology and stress of the survivors were scaled and gives some information regarding the reliability and validity of the data. Symptoms, sleep problems, family disruption, and traumatic dreams are considered. The findings on these data and the follow-up studies are discussed. The final chapter contains a summary of the findings and proposes specific suggestions as well as a model for future disaster studies.

This book will be of most practical importance to mental health scientists and clinicians working with the victims of stress and disaster, and should also be of considerable interest to social and behavioral scientists and, more generally, to administrators of government activities.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 Introduction

Chapter 2 Two Differing Points of View

Chapter 3 The Buffalo Creek Litigants

Chapter 4 Scaling Psychopathology and Stress

Self-Report Measures

Clinical Impairment Rating

Quantifying Interview Data

Validation of Interview Quantification

Scaling Stress


Chapter 5 Examining the Evidence of Psychopathology

Sampling, Malingering, or Effect of the Disaster?

Amount of Psychopathology

Comparison with Normative Data

Comparisons with Psychiatric Outpatients

Further Psychosocial Disruption

Comparisons with Other Disasters

Psychophysiological Dysfunction

Chapter 6 Sleep and Dreams

Sleep Disturbances


Chapter 7 Stress, Coping, and Psychopathology

Relationship Between Stress and Psychopathology

Demographic Variables

Life Stresses Subsequent to the Flood

Relative and Total Impact of Predictor Variables

Relationships Among Psychopathology in Family Members


Chapter 8 After the Settlement What Then?

Description of Follow-Up Trips

Longitudinal Trends in Psychopathology

Longitudinal Aspects of Traumatic Dreams

Chapter 9 Summing Up

Conclusions with Respect to Hypotheses Tested

A Proposed Theoretical Framework

Demographic Factors

Other Findings

Future Directions




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© Academic Press 1981
Academic Press
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About the Author

Goldine C. Gleser

Bonnie L. Green

Carolyn Winget

About the Editor

David T. Lykken

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