The Oklahoma city bombing

Betty Pfefferbaum, Phebe Tucker, Carol S North

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


INTRODUCTION Though now eclipsed by more devastating national and international disasters, the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was, at the time, the deadliest act of terrorism on U.S. soil. The bombing resulted in 168 deaths, including 19 children and one responder. Eight hundred fifty people were injured, 30 children were orphaned, 462 people were left homeless, 7,000 people lost their workplace, and over 300 buildings were damaged or destroyed (Oklahoma City National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism, n.d.). In addition to causing injury, death, sorrow, and grief, terrorism generates fear and intimidation and the impetus for changed attitudes and behavior. It creates disruption and chaos, and as we saw after the September 11th attacks, it can trigger wide-reaching and enduring socioeconomic and political change. A major sentiment emerging in the days and weeks after the Oklahoma City bombing was the desire on the part of individuals, organizations, and the community to learn from this horrific event. Recognizing the potential for both personal and community effects, clinicians and scholars involved in the Oklahoma City bombing response focused on a range of issues, populations, and outcomes. Distinguishing this incident from natural disasters, clinicians and researchers recognized the importance of examining a number of groups that might be affected and a variety of outcomes that might result. Attention focused first on those most directly exposed, including people in the Federal Building and surrounding areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMental Health and Disasters
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9780511730030
ISBN (Print)9780521883870
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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