Television Images and Probable Posttraumatic Stress Disorder after September 11: The Role of Background Characteristics, Event Exposures, and Perievent Panic

Jennifer Ahern, Sandro Galea, Heidi Resnick, David Vlahov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Television viewing has been associated with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms after disasters and traumas; we examined characteristics that may explain this association among New Yorkers after September 11, 2001. Among 2001 respondents to a random-digit dial telephone survey conducted 4 months after September 11, people who viewed more television images in the 7 days after September 11 had more probable PTSD. People in the highest third of viewing had a 2.32 times greater odds of probable PTSD after September 11 compared with people in the lowest third of viewing; after adjustment for explanatory variables, the relative odds of probable PTSD were 1.66. Adjustment for perievent panic accounted for 44% of the reduction in association between television and probable PTSD, suggesting that perievent emotional reactions may play an important role in the television and psychopathology association. Television may merit consideration as a potential exposure to a traumatic event.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-226
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Volume192
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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