Individual and Community Responses to Trauma and Disaster: The Structure of Human Chaos / Edition 1

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Coping with disaster is an overwhelming and often baffling task for survivors, rescue workers, and clinicians. This volume looks in depth at how people experience trauma and suggests practical strategies for treatment. The authors examine issues ranging from the biological basis of posttraumatic stress reaction to the psychosocial and fictional construction of terror, and disasters ranging from random acts of violence to war. From Chernobyl to Desert Storm, from Kentucky floods to Norwegian avalanches, the authors explore the effects of trauma on adults and children. They find certain commonalities in human response to disasters of all kinds, and hold that by understanding these partially predictable patterns of reaction, mastery of chaos, and finally recovery can occur. Based on their comprehensive analysis, they suggest disaster intervention strategies that emphasize recognition of the psychological effects of trauma, as well as preparedness and prevention.

This book contains black-and-white illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book provides a state of the art review of current knowledge about the immediate and intermediate psychological effects of man-made and natural disasters. It presents a thoughtful overview of the range of psychological reactions to a variety of disaster experiences, mediating variables, such as social support, and a critical evaluation of intervention techniques. It is both a handbook and a practical guide for clinicians, researchers, and forensic experts dealing with disaster and its aftermath." Bessel A. van der Kolk, M.D., Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital

"...well-written and informative...impressively wide-ranging..." R.R. Cornelius, Choice

"...By bridging social and medical sciences, Individual and Community Responses to Trauma and Disaster will appeal to a wide multidisciplinary readership, and it can be recommended as a valuable resource." Peter J. Baxter, British Medical Journal

"There are many important messages in these well written contributions....Chapters concentrate on a wide range of disasters from natural ones such as floods or earthquakes through manmade ones such as Chernobyl to the experiences of people on board a Gulf War hospital ship. The picture is inexorably built up that the more a trauma is viewed by the victim as being deliberately caused, and the greater the physical suffering and threat of death, then the greater level of distress. There is always an interplay between the actual danger and the subjective interpretation of the threat that determines the level of stress." William Yule, Nature

"For the nonspecialist, the book provides a solid introduction to trauma and posttraumatic stress disorders, In addition, it presents pragmatic suggestions on how one can help others cope with terror, physical injuries, overwhelming loss, and exposure to gruesome events. For the specialist, the book covers a wide range of related topics that is sure to broaden one's knowledge base...a valuable guide for clinicians working in the field of disaster...the book is highly recommended." Bruce Hiley-Young, Contemporary Psychology

"...the book is excellent...tightly and evenly edited. The chapters are of uniformly high-quality scholarship. relevance, and readability...serves a broad readership." Brent Dennis, Families in Society

" excellent work that makes a significant contribution to the field by improving understanding of the human experience of trauma at the individual and community levels. The range of issues covered is impressive....This is an extremely valuable resource for the novice in the field as well as a ready reference for the seasoned professional. It is an absolute must for anyone interested in the topic. If you work with victims of trauma and disaster, and buy only one book this year, this should be the one." James D. Baxendale, Journal of Traumatic Stress

"...scholarly, wide-ranging, and timely....This volume provides detailed and practical information about a diverse group of traumatic circumstances....A reader looking for an excellent introduction to a specific type of traumatic event would surely find useful material here." Robert S. Pynoos and Alan M. Steinberg, Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521556439
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 440
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Table of Contents

Part I. Introduction: 1. Trauma and disaster R. J. Ursano, C . S. Fullerton and B. G. McCaughey; Part II. The Nature of Traumatic Stress: 2. The psychology of terror and its aftermath H. C. Holloway and C. S. Fullerton; 3. Exposure to traumatic death: the nature of the stressor R. J. Ursano and J. E. McCarroll; 4. Psychological and psychiatric aspects of technological disasters L. Weisaeth; 5. Traumatic effects of accidents U. F. Malt; 6.The human experience of earthquakes B. G. McCaughey, K. J. Hoffman and C. H. Llewellyn; 7. Psychological effects of toxic contamination B. L. Green, J. D . Lindy and M. C. Grace; Part III. The Role of Psychosocial Contaxt in Responses to Trauma and Disasters: 8. Social support and perceived control as moderators of responses to dioxin and flood exposure S. D. Solomon and E. M. Smith; 9. Debriefing following traumatic exposure A. Y. Shalev; 10. Relocation stress following natural disasters E. T. Gerrity and P. Steinglass; 11. Group reactions to trauma: an avalanche accident P. Herlofsen; 12. Community responses to disaster: the Gander plane crash K. M. Wright and P. T. Bartone; Part IV. Responses to Trauma Across the Life Cycle: 13. Children of war and children at war: child victims of terrorism in Mozambique J. A. Shaw and J. J. Harris; 14. Stress and coping with the trauma of war in the Persian Gulf: the hospital ship USNS Comfort M. P. Dinneen, R. J. Pentzien and J. M. Mateczun; 15. Long-term sequelae of combat in World War II, Korea and Vietnam: a comparative study R. Rosenheck and A. Fontana; 16. Psychophysiological aspects of chronic stress following trauma L. M. Davidson and A. Baum; 17. Individual and community reactions to the Kentucky floods: findings from a longitudinal study of older adults F. H. Norris, J. F. Phifer and K. Kaniasty; Conclusions; 18. The structure of human chaos R. J. Ursano, B. G. McCaughey and C .S. Fullerton.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2001


    Excellent volume for leaders of cities, communities and mental health care providers. Should be required reading to deal with present disaster.

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