Media Use by Children and Adolescents From New York City 6 Months After the WTC Attack

Department of Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University and New York State Psychiatric Institute, USA.
Journal of Traumatic Stress (Impact Factor: 2.72). 10/2011; 24(5):553-6. DOI: 10.1002/jts.20687
Source: PubMed


Six months after the World Trade Center (WTC) attacks of September 11, 2001 (9/11), a representative sample of New York City students (N = 8,236) in Grades 4 through 12 reported their use of TV, Web, and combined radio and print media regarding the WTC attack. Demographic factors, WTC exposure, other exposure to trauma, and probable posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were used to predict intensive use of the 3 types of media. Intensive use was associated with direct exposure to the WTC attack (with the exception of Web use) and to having reported symptoms of PTSD. Stratified analyses indicated that the association between probable PTSD and intensive media use was more consistently present among those who had no direct or familial exposure to the WTC attack. As well, media, particularly TV, was intensively used by children after the WTC attack. Variations existed in the factors associated with intensive media use, which should be considered when planning postdisaster media coverage and advising families.

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