Researchers have finished a study on preschoolers who were exposed in some way to the events of September 11th. They wanted to access any long term effects or trauma that the children suffered from the World Trade Center attacks. Some of the children saw people fall from the tower or the towers collapse. They found that children that had a previous traumatic experience were more likely to suffer psychological effects years later. This study is another in a series trying to gauge the psychological side of World Trade Center Illness.
Children who had been rattled by a previous experience were about 20 times as likely to show signs of depression, anxiety, or attention deficits as children who had not known a significant trauma before Sept. 11.
“The optimistic part of this is that the kids who had no earlier traumas were doing fairly well, even though we set the bar very high for exposure to the World Trade Center attacks — I mean, some of these kids were going to school practically across the street from the towers,” said the lead author, Claude Chemtob, a professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. His co-authors were Yoko Nomura and Dr. Robert A. Abramovitz.
Researchers interviewed the parents of 116 children that were between the ages of 1 and 5 on September 11th. The study was done in partnership with the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services in New York.