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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Patricia E. Murphy, PhD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This edited book addresses the complexity of assessing factors that contribute to mental health responses to different types of disasters. After examining general themes like vulnerability and resilience, the authors provide studies of several international examples of both natural and man-made disasters.
Purpose: The authors hope to take a field of knowledge that is continuing to develop and raise awareness of both answers and the limitations of answers about who develops pathology. By stimulating further study with improved designs, we should be better able to prevent and manage the mental health consequences of trauma.
Audience: The book is crucial for those who are involved in planning and policy development for prevention and response to disasters. It is also an important resource for any who hope to do further research in this area.
Features: The greatest value of this book is the perspective it can offer based on a growing body of literature about correlates of diverse psychological responses to trauma. It allows the information from specific situations to speak to other settings with an important goal of knowing how best to limit the psychosocial devastation from major catastrophes. An important asset of the book is its inclusion of studies from a variety of cultural and economic settings. This would be hard to find elsewhere.
Assessment: This book offers an excellent source of research in the area with well-defined questions that remain unanswered. This kind of broad perspective is vital for those who prepare prevention and response to local and international crises.