PTSD Study: Kids also Vulnerable to Stress, Depression

Popular wisdom has long held that young children survive traumatic events better than adults do, in part because they suffer less. Being too young to understand fully the nature of what’s happening around them – during war or natural disaster, for instance – they should bounce back with much more resilience.

But new research on child survivors of Hurricane Katrina and witnesses of the 9/11 terrorist attacks suggests otherwise. “There is increasing evidence that kids know what is going on if they are directly exposed and see something like planes crashing into the [World Trade Center] towers,” says child psychologist Claude Chemtob of New York University, lead author of one of several new papers on children and disaster, published in a special section of the July and August issue of Child Development.

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