Parent-Reported Behavioral and Emotional Responses of Children to Disaster and Parental Psychopathology

Carol S North, Steffi Mendoza, Zorica Simic, Betty Pfefferbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Child disaster mental health research has been largely limited by investigation of one disaster at a time and inconsistent methods across different studies. This study assessed 160 survivors of 3 disasters with structured diagnostic interviews, asking about the behavioral and emotional disaster reactions of their 266 children, ages 3–17. Most children had ≥1 postdisaster behavior change or disaster-related posttraumatic stress symptom. The children’s postdisaster behavioral and emotional problems were associated with parental postdisaster psychopathology. The results underscore the importance of asking disaster survivors about their children’s disaster reactions and considering parental disaster experiences and reactions in addressing their children’s reactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-316
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Loss and Trauma
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 19 2018


  • Children
  • disaster mental health
  • parents
  • psychiatric disorder
  • structured diagnostic interview

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Social Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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