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Studying the prevalence and predictors of psychiatric disorders among adolescent disaster survivors
  1. Carol S North
  1. VA North Texas Health Care System and The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, USA;

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COMMENTARY ON: Adams ZW, Sumner JA, Danielson CK, et al. Prevalence and predictors of PTSD and depression among adolescent victims of the Spring 2011 tornado outbreak. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 2014;55:1047–55.

What is already known on this topic

The epidemiology of disaster mental health has been well documented in adult populations. In comparison, relatively little is known about psychiatric disorders following exposure to disasters among youth. Even less is known specifically about psychopathology among youth exposed to tornadoes. Very few disaster mental health studies of youth have utilised structured diagnostic interviews, and samples of youth have not often been systematically selected or representative of general populations.

Methods of the study

This study aimed to estimate prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depressive episode (MDE) in youths residing in tornado-affected areas and to identify risk factors for these disorders. Systematic address-based recruitment yielded a sample of 2000 youths from residences within 2–5 miles of tornadoes that occurred in the spring of 2011 in Joplin, Missouri and Alabama. …

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  • Competing interests None.

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