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AFTER 9/11 1

New York City in the Aftermath of the September 11th Terrorist Attack

Mete Alp Yank


Ipek University

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Unfortunately,every human being has suffered from at least one bad event. And
several studies have shown most of the adults have suffered from at least one potentially
traumatic event PTE , such as physical assault or rape. However in the same way
we live,not all of us react to that event same as the others. Others may be able to overcome
such events with stress and confusion,but there is a small chance that one can develop
posttraumatic stress disorder.

In this research,the researchers tried to find the relationship between the potentially
traumatic event and the level of exposure alongside with demographics. But they had the
struggle of the signs of PTSD showing up,regardless of the mental condition of the subject,
most likely sleep apnea or difficulties being able to show up regardless of requirement of any
stress inducing or traumatising exposure to an event.

Participants were contacted by random digit dial approximately 6 months after 9/11.
The participants ranged from all over New York City. Research was done by interviews in
multiple languages and questionnaires. The samples spectrum was ranged from the people
that saw the World Trade Center for the first time and relatives working inside of it. Multiple
languages were used during the conduction of the research,along with translations.

PTSD symptoms since 9/11 were assesed using the National Womens Study PTSD
module. This module showed good construct validity in previous research and was validated
in a field trial.(Kilpatrick et al., 1998). It was almost fully sensitive and fully specific when
compared to the previously used modules. No matter the definition for resilience, 65% had
one or no PTSD symptomes during the first months.

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There was a large spectrum of reactions and recovery,alongside with resilience within
the different exposure groups. Researchers were mostly interested in the reactions of different
exposure groups, they mostly focused on the group that showed up with PTSD. Most
interesting part was that the people who were physically injured during the attack,or inside the
World Trade Center itself. These groups were mostly resilient no matter the condition they
were inside.

Most of the people who had seen the attack or suffered a loss from the attack ended
up having only a single or none PTSD syndrome while some have had trouble recovering
from the trauvma and had PTSD Related to the attack itself. The people who saw the attack
AND had a friend/relative die in that day were more likely to be less resilient against it,
compared to the ones who hadnt seen it BUT lost a friend/relative.

No matter the people who suffered PTSD or with high levels of exposure,most of the
time,the people were resilient against it,except Staten Island and unmarried couples.

In my opinion,this research results can be a bit of false,because of the fact that virtual
environment had been used to collect the necessary data. Without the sight of a clinical or
health psychologist,the subject can distort the reality,or even not may be aware of his own
condition. Rather than using phones,if it was to be done face to face,my thoughts are,the
results could be VERY different from what the researchers have provided us with.

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References

Kilpatrick, D.G., Resnick, H.S., Freedy, J.R., Pelcovitz, D., Resick , P.A., Roth, S., & van der
Kolk, B. (1998)