Psychological effects of hurricane andrew on an elementary school population Article

Shaw, JA, Applegate, B, Tanner, S et al. (1995). Psychological effects of hurricane andrew on an elementary school population . JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF CHILD AND ADOLESCENT PSYCHIATRY, 34(9), 1174-1184.

cited authors

  • Shaw, JA; Applegate, B; Tanner, S; Perez, D; Rothe, E; Campo-Bowen, AE; Lahey, BL



  • Objective: To explore the prevalence and progression of posttraumatic symptomatology (PTS), using emotional and behavioral indices of psychopathology in school-age children in the pathway of Hurricane Andrew (HI-IMPACT) and in a comparison group north of Miami (LO-IMPACT). Method: Pynoos’ Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Reaction Index and Achenbach’s Teacher’s Report Form (TRF) were administered 8 weeks and 32 weeks after the hurricane. In addition, 21 measures of disruptive behavior cataloged by Dade County Public Schools were aggregated and compared by grading period between pre- and posthurricane school years. Results: There were no statistically significant differences between the two schools in PTS at 8 weeks after the hurricane, although the children in the HI-IMPACT school were more likely to have severe PTS. TRF findings at 8 weeks revealed that children in the HI-IMPACT school evidenced lower means on the eight TRF scales and on the broader Internalizing and Externalizing measures. Analysis of the disruptive behavior revealed a drop in the marking period immediately after the hurricane in the HI-IMPACT area, but an opposite effect was observed in the LO-IMPACT area. Conclusions: After the hurricane there was an initial increase in PTS and a concomitant decrease in other measures of behavior and psychopathology. PTS remained relatively high throughout the school year, but there was a rebound and subsequent normalization of the measures of disruptive behavior. © 1995 by the American Academy of Child and Adolesccnt Psychiatry.

publication date

  • January 1, 1995

start page

  • 1174

end page

  • 1184


  • 34


  • 9