Roxane Cohen Silver

Roxane Cohen Silver
University of California, Irvine | UCI ·  Department of Psychology and Social Behavior

About

150
Publications
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Introduction

Publications

Publications (150)
Article
Objective: During the protracted collective trauma of the COVID-19 pandemic, lay of distorted perceptions of time (e.g., time slowing, days blurring together, uncertainty about the future) have been widespread. Known as "temporal disintegration" in psychiatric literature, these distortions are associated with negative mental health consequences. H...
Article
Importance: During the past century, more than 100 catastrophic hurricanes have impacted the Florida coast; climate change will likely be associated with increases in the intensity of future storms. Despite these annual threats to residents, to our knowledge, no longitudinal studies of representative samples at risk of hurricane exposure have exam...
Article
Objective: Health care and non-health care essential workers working in face-to-face interactions during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic may be vulnerable to psychosocial distress. Limited empirical research on COVID-19-related psychosocial outcomes has utilized probability-based samples including both health care and non-health c...
Article
The impact of an 8.8 magnitude Chilean earthquake on elementary school students’ psychosocial functioning was assessed along with exposure to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). Skills for Life, a national school‐based mental health program in Chile, routinely assesses first‐ and third‐grade students’ psychosocial functioning and classroom adapta...
Article
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Understanding psychosocial correlates of engaging in health-protective behaviors during an infectious disease outbreak can inform targeted intervention strategies. We surveyed a national probability-based sample of 6,514 Americans, with three separate, consecutive representative cohorts between March 18, 2020 and April 18, 2020, as the U.S. COVID-1...
Article
The COVID-19 pandemic has extensively changed the state of psychological science from what research questions psychologists can ask to which methodologies psychologists can use to investigate them. In this article, we offer a perspective on how to optimize new research in the pandemic’s wake. Because this pandemic is inherently a social phenomenon—...
Article
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This entry considers the role of trauma in physical health outcomes. First, trauma is defined, the systems in which trauma may play a role in health are discussed, and the direct and indirect mechanisms underlying these effects are described. Finally, we consider potential interventions and other factors that may protect individuals against the del...
Article
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The year 2020 has been marked by unprecedented cascading traumas, including the COVID-19 pandemic, an economic recession, race-driven social unrest and weather-related disasters. Mental health consequences of direct and media-based exposure to compounding stressors may be profound. Policymakers must act to ease the burden of trauma to protect publi...
Article
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The COVID-19 pandemic is a collective stressor unfolding over time, yet rigorous published empirical studies addressing mental health consequences of COVID-19 among large probability-based national samples are rare. Between 3/18-4/18/20, during an escalating period of illness and death in the United States, we assessed acute stress, depressive symp...
Article
Humans seek consistency between their internal thoughts and the outside world. Thus, when legal authorities make decisions, people are likely to accept and obey these decisions in order to remain consistent with the societies in which they live. Few studies have explored these biases in an applied context. We examined the relationship between the s...
Article
Indirectly experienced negative life events are not considered Criterion A traumatic events per DSM‐5 posttraumatic stress disorder diagnostic criteria, yet individuals indirectly exposed to trauma via the media may report these events as peak traumatic experiences. We studied which events people considered to be the “worst” in their lifetimes to g...
Article
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is having a profound effect on all aspects of society, including mental health and physical health. We explore the psychological, social, and neuroscientific effects of COVID-19 and set out the immediate priorities and longer-term strategies for mental health science research. These priorities were i...
Article
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The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-2019) has led to a serious outbreak of often severe respiratory disease, which originated in China and has quickly become a global pandemic, with far-reaching consequences that are unprecedented in the modern era. As public health officials seek to contain the virus and mitigate the deleterious effects on worldwide...
Article
Background: Negative childhood experiences are associated with poor health and psychosocial outcomes throughout one's lifespan. Objective: We examined associations between childhood bullying and maltreatment and several adulthood outcomes: psychological distress, functional impairment, generalized fear, and physician-diagnosed mental and physica...
Article
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Media exposure to collective trauma is associated with acute stress (AS) and posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS). Qualities of media exposure (e.g., amount, graphic features) contributing to this distress are poorly understood. A representative national sample (with New York and Boston oversamples; N = 4,675) completed anonymous, online surveys 2...
Article
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Objective: The objective of the study was to explore how type and timing of prior negative life experiences (NLEs) may be linked to responses to subsequent collective trauma, such as a terrorist attack. Method: Using a longitudinal design, we examined relationships between prior NLEs and responses to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings (BMB). Shor...
Article
Theorists maintain that negative life events (NLE) can alter worldviews, but evidence for this idea has been lacking. We present a model that raises three questions: (1) Do different types of NLE engender different types of worldview change? (2) Do factors that facilitate positive reappraisals of NLE buffer against worldview change? (3) Does change...
Article
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The accuracy of emergency management alerts about dangerous threats to public safety is key for the protection of life and property. When alerts of imminent threats are believed to be real, uncontrollable, and impossible to escape, people who receive them often experience fear and anxiety, especially as they await the threat's arrival (i.e., incuba...
Article
Rationale: Limited research has examined how combat veterans experience deaths of comrades to combat or suicide. We sought to investigate the process and identify factors that predict the level of grief among post-9/11 U.S. veterans. Methods: Using a mixed-methods study design during 2016-2017, U.S. combat veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan co...
Article
Near miss experiences—narrowly avoiding a traumatic event—are associated with distress, despite signaling good fortune. For some, near miss experiences call to mind those who, unlike oneself, were directly affected by the event, leading to “survivor guilt” or distress over one’s comparative good fortune. Survivor guilt, in turn, may function as upw...
Article
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The established link between trauma-related media exposure and distress may be cyclical: Distress can increase subsequent trauma-related media consumption that promotes increased distress to later events. We tested this hypothesis in a 3-year longitudinal study following the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings and the 2016 Orlando Pulse nightclub massacr...
Article
In the wake of collective traumas and acts of terrorism, media bring real graphic images and videos to TV, computer, and smartphone screens. Many people consume this coverage, but who they are and why they do so is poorly understood. Using a mixed-methods design, we examined predictors of and motivations for viewing graphic media among individuals...
Article
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Importance Exposure to disaster-related media coverage is associated with negative mental health outcomes. However, risk factors that render individuals vulnerable to this exposure are unknown. Hurricane-associated media exposure was expected to explain the association between forecasted posttraumatic stress (PTS) and adjustment after the hurricane...
Article
Objective: Disasters are place-based traumatic events, yet contemporary understandings of disaster recovery often do not consider the role of community organizations. We examine organization type and proximity as they relate to post-disaster mental health in a longitudinal study following the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. Method: Residents of m...
Article
The impact of interpersonal violence extends beyond the victims and perpetrator(s). The purpose of this research was threefold: (a) to identify whether college students’ very early reactions to an on-campus shooting were associated with well-known predictors of distress, (b) to examine whether grief and distress reactions were distinguishable in th...
Article
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Research conducted in the early years after the September 11, 2001 (9/11) terrorist attacks in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, DC demonstrated adverse psychological outcomes among residents of the United States who were exposed to the attacks both directly and indirectly via the media. However, less is known about the impact of this collect...
Poster
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How does media coverage of traumatic events affect people? Do their different political affiliations have anything to do with their mental health? We analyzed over 4,500 individuals’ responses in the aftermath of two collective traumatic events: Boston Bombings (2013) and Ebola outbreak (2014). The poster shows how party affiliation moderates the e...
Article
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During crisis events, people often seek out event-related information to stay informed of what is happening. However, when information from official channels is lacking or disseminated irregularly, people may be at risk for exposure to rumors that fill the information void. We studied information-seeking during a university lockdown following an ac...
Article
Objective: Ebola media coverage directed public attention to potential disease carriers: residents or travelers from West Africa. We investigated the role of neighborhood population factors (i.e., the concentration of West African foreigners, non-West African foreigners, non-Hispanic Blacks) on individual responses to the Ebola outbreak in the Uni...
Article
Ebola was the most widely followed news story in the United States in October 2014. Here, we ask what members of the U.S. public learned about the disease, given the often chaotic media environment. Early in 2015, we surveyed a representative sample of 3,447 U.S. residents about their Ebola-related beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. Where possible,...
Article
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The 2014 Ebola crisis received unprecedented media attention in the United States, despite low risk of transmission. We examined theoretically derived correlates of psychological response to the crisis, including Ebola-related media exposure, prior mental health history, and stress response to a recent prior collective trauma (the 2013 Boston Marat...
Article
Many studies find that when made to feel uncertain, participants respond by affirming importantly held beliefs. However, while theories argue that these effects should persist over time for highly disruptive experiences, almost no research has been performed outside the lab. We conducted a secondary analysis of data from a national sample of U.S. a...
Article
Many individuals experience natural disasters including earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis, and wildfires; residents of developing nations experience greater/more severe risk. While many individuals display resilience post-disaster, deleterious physical and mental health problems are also common and correlate with disaster characteristics...
Article
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Perceived support and conflict between adolescents and young adults with cancer and their primary caregivers, other family, close friends, and medical staff were examined in relation to adolescents and young adults’ psychological health. Adolescents and young adults (n = 115, 51% male, ages 12–24 years, M (standard deviation) = 16.07 (2.29)) in out...
Article
Research on evacuation from natural disasters has been published across the peer-reviewed literature among several disparate disciplinary outlets and has suggested a wide variety of predictors of evacuation behavior. We conducted a systematic review to summarize and evaluate the current literature on demographic, storm-related, and psychosocial cor...
Article
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Studying communities impacted by traumatic events is often costly, requires swift action to enter the field when disaster strikes, and may be invasive for some traumatized respondents. Typically, individuals are studied after the traumatic event with no baseline data against which to compare their post-disaster responses. Given these challenges, we...
Article
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Traditional and new media inform and expose the public to potentially distressing graphic content following disasters, but predictors of media use have received limited attention. We examine media-use patterns after the Boston Marathon bombings (BMB) in a nationally representative U.S. sample (n=2,888), with representative oversamples from metropol...
Article
Despite the prominence of time in influential aging theories and the ubiquity of stress across the life span, research addressing how time perspective (TP) and adversity are associated with well-being across adulthood is rare. Examining the role of TP in coping with life events over the life span would be best accomplished after large-scale populat...
Article
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This study explores the consequences of fostering empathy-for both victims and perpetrators-after large-scale violent events. Participants (N = 834) read a description of a school shooting and were randomly assigned to one of six conditions revealing varying amounts of background information about the victim and the perpetrator of violence. The imp...
Article
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The interdependent adjustment of children and their parents following disasters has been documented. We used the Actor-Partner Interdependence Model (APIM) to provide an appropriate analytical framework for examining how family members may contribute to each other’s post-disaster mental health. Independent self-reports were collected from parent-ch...
Article
Objective: We examined the interdependent, dyadic, mental health of adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer patients and their caregivers. Our aims were to: (1) investigate the degree to which patients’ and caregivers’ subjective perceptions of illness severity are congruent with objective severity (i.e., medical indicators), (2) compare patients’...
Article
Full-text available
The role of repeated exposure to collective trauma in explaining response to subsequent community-wide trauma is poorly understood. We examined the relationship between acute stress response to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings and prior direct and indirect media-based exposure to three collective traumatic events: the September 11, 2001 (9/11) ter...
Article
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Objective: A national epidemiological survey in Chile assessed adaptive (health care utilization) and maladaptive (substance use) postearthquake behaviors. Methods: Three months after the 8.8-magnitude 2010 Bio-Bio earthquake, face-to-face interviews were conducted with a representative sample of 2,108 adults. Logistic regression analyses examin...
Article
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We examined cumulative and specific types of trauma exposure as predictors of distress and impairment following a multifaceted community disaster. Approximately 3 months after the 8.8 magnitude earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent looting in Bio Bio, Chile, face-to-face interviews were conducted in 5 provinces closest to the epicenter. Participants...
Article
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Theoretically derived factors (preexisting child characteristics, trauma exposure, caregiver– child relationship, and school-based mental health programming) were examined as potential correlates of distress in children residing in the region closest to the epicenter of the 2010 Chilean earthquake. One year before the earthquake, 2nd-grade students...
Article
Associations between prior negative life experiences and perceptions of risk of future adverse events (e.g., natural or technological disasters, violent crime) were examined among a U.S. national sample (n = 975) who completed online surveys annually for 3 years. Having previously experienced a greater number of negative life events—of any type—was...
Article
Full-text available
Research conducted in the early years after the September 11, 2001 (9/11) terrorist attacks demonstrated that both directly and indirectly-exposed Americans experienced adverse psychological outcomes. However, little is known about the impact of this collective trauma over time. Beginning in December, 2006, a 3-year longitudinal study of a national...
Article
Full-text available
We compared the impact of media vs. direct exposure on acute stress response to collective trauma. We conducted an Internet-based survey following the Boston Marathon bombings between April 29 and May 13, 2013, with representative samples of residents from Boston (n = 846), New York City (n = 941), and the remainder of the United States (n = 2,888)...
Article
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Undergraduates at a university in the United States were exposed - directly and indirectly - to 14 peer deaths during one academic year. We examined how individual and social factors were associated with psychological (e.g., anxiety, depression, somatization) and physiological (i.e., cortisol) distress responses following this unexpected and repeat...
Article
Millions of people witnessed early, repeated television coverage of the September 11 (9/11), 2001, terrorist attacks and were subsequently exposed to graphic media images of the Iraq War. In the present study, we examined psychological- and physical-health impacts of exposure to these collective traumas. A U.S. national sample (N = 2,189) completed...
Article
The nation of Indonesia is in an area of geological instability, resulting in repeated and severe natural disasters including earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tsunamis. Teachers, as adult authority figures and people with whom students spend a majority of their day, can play a major role in the lives of children in a disaster-prone community. F...
Article
A terrorist attack is an adverse event characterized by both an event-specific stressor and concern about future threats. Little is known about age differences in responses to terrorism. This longitudinal study examined generalized distress, posttraumatic stress responses, and fear of future attacks following the September 11, 2001 (9/11) terrorist...
Article
Health-focused interventions can prevent the devastating effects of many illnesses by encouraging changes in behavior. Interventions that recognize the multiple influences on behavior will have the greatest likelihood of success, but increased sensitivity to their costs, convenience, and reach has led to innovative new treatments, for example inter...
Article
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The nation of Indonesia is in an area of geological instability, resulting in repeated and severe natural disasters. As a result, Indonesian residents are likely to be exposed repeatedly to significant traumatic events. Researchers and clinicians working in such areas face the challenge of assessing large groups of people exposed to trauma and iden...
Article
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A test of any science is its ability to predict events under specified conditions. A test for the psychology represented in this special issue of the American Psychologist is its ability to predict individual and social behavior in the aftermath of a next terror attack. This article draws on that science to make such predictions. These predictions...
Article
Research conducted in the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks (9/11) suggests that, except for those who directly witnessed or suffered loss from the attacks, for most children the emotional impact was relatively transitory. We review this literature as well as consider other ways in which the attacks may have played a role in the dev...
Article
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The American Psychologist special issue on "9/11: Ten Years Later" takes a retrospective look at the psychological impact of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The first half of the issue specifically considers the immediate and intermediate effects of both direct and indirect exposure to the 9/11 attacks across the United States. The second half of the i...
Article
The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks (9/11) presented a unique opportunity to assess the physical health impact of collective stress in the United States. This study prospectively examined rates of physical ailments and predictors of health care utilization in a U.S. nationally representative sample over three years following the attacks. A sam...
Article
Researchers have identified health implications of religiosity and spirituality but have rarely addressed differences between these dimensions. The associations of religiosity and spirituality with physical and mental health were examined in a national sample (N = 890) after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks (9/11). Health information was co...
Article
The purpose of this paper is to serve as a primer for those who have never used, or even considered using, secondary data as a resource for psychological research. Secondary data (SD) can provide a unique methodological tool with which to examine psychological issues and can serve as a valuable contribution to a program of research. However, this i...
Article
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Exposure to adverse life events typically predicts subsequent negative effects on mental health and well-being, such that more adversity predicts worse outcomes. However, adverse experiences may also foster subsequent resilience, with resulting advantages for mental health and well-being. In a multiyear longitudinal study of a national sample, peop...
Article
Previous research has demonstrated an association between lifetime exposure to adverse events and chronic back pain (CBP), but the nature of this relationship has not been fully specified. Adversity exposure typically predicts undesirable outcomes, suggesting that lack of all adversity is optimal. However, we hypothesized that among individuals fac...
Article
Approximately 2 weeks after September 11th, adolescents from a national sample of households who were indirectly exposed to the terrorist attacks through the media completed a Web-based survey that assessed event-related acute stress symptoms. One year later, these adolescents (N = 142) and a randomly selected parent from their household completed...
Article
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The American policy landscape during the George W. Bush administration was shaped by a series of traumatic events that confronted the nation and people of the United States. These included the terrorist attacks of 9/11 in 2001, the anthrax attacks in the fall of 2001, military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the threat o...
Article
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The brutal murder of James Byrd Jr. in June 1998 unleashed a storm of media, interest groups, high profile individuals and criticism on the Southeast Texas community of Jasper. The crime and subsequent response-from within the community as well as across the world-engulfed the entire town in a collective trauma. Using natural disaster literature/th...
Article
Individuals frequently perceive positive changes in themselves following adversity; after a collective trauma, they may perceive such benefits in others or in their society as well. We examined perceived benefits of the September 11, 2001 (9/11) terrorist attacks in a 3-year study of a national sample of adults (N = 1382). Many individuals (57.8%)...
Chapter
September 11, 2001, is a date firmly imprinted in the collective memories of residents of the United States. On that day, every person in the country, as well as Americans traveling and living around the world, experienced a tragedy unprecedented in its scope and impact on both individual lives and the national psyche. Simultaneous terrorist attack...
Article
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The ability to make sense of events in one's life has held a central role in theories of adaptation to adversity. However, there are few rigorous studies on the role of meaning in adjustment, and those that have been conducted have focused predominantly on direct personal trauma. The authors examined the predictors and long-term consequences of Ame...
Article
A longitudinal investigation of psychological responses to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks was conducted on a U.S. national probability sample. Using an anonymous Web-based survey methodology, data were collected among over 1,900 adults at 2 weeks and 12 months post-9/11 to consider whether direct and proximal exposure were necessary preco...