The 9/11 terror attacks: Emotional consequences persist for children and their families

Redlener, Irwin E.; Grant, Roy F.

The terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., are unique in American history. The magnitude of the attack in New York, in terms of loss of life and property, was enormous. The destroyed twin towers of the World Trade Center had a total of 10 million square feet of rentable office space with capacity for 50,000 occupants. Five other buildings in the Trade Center complex, a church, a 22 story hotel, and a 54 -story office building also were either destroyed or seriously damaged. Reports of the death toll are conflicting. The New York City Department of Health reports 2,617 deaths based on death certificates issued through Jan. 25, 2002 others estimate the total exceeds 3,000. Furthermore, the actual attacks, including the moment of the second plane crashing into the World Trade Center, were shown repeatedly by nearly every television station in the country over the next several days.
Many children who witnessed any aspect of the terrorist attack, either directly or via the media, showed evidence of behavioral or psychological reactions to the events of 9/11 and the subsequent scare involving dissemination of anthrax spores through the mail. To determine the nature, extent, and distribution of the impact of these events on children and families in New York City, C HF commissioned a series of polls from the Marist Institute.


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Contemporary Pediatrics

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Academic Units
National Center for Disaster Preparedness
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January 2, 2013