Traumatic stress and coping strategies of sesternary victims following an aircraft disaster in Coventry.
Source: Stress and Health 17(2):67-75.
Abstract: An aircraft was returning to Coventry, UK, in 1994 from Amsterdam where it had unloaded a cargo containing live animals. The aircraft lost control after striking a pylon and started descending on a large housing estate complex as a result of which the roofs of two houses were clipped. The aircraft finally crashed into a woodland area near the edge of the housing estate complex. Hundreds of residents of the housing complex escaped from the accident and from being the primary victims and they were termed as the sesternary victims. The objectives of this study were to study the traumatic stress in the individuals that were termed as sesternary victims and also the strategies that they used in order to cope with the traumatic effects. The hypothesis that was considered for this study was that the sesternary victims would show distress due to trauma and that would be associated with specific coping model characterized by distancing, escape-avoidance, and seeking social support. 82 subjects were selected for this study. The Impact of Event Scale (IES), the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ), and the Ways of Coping Checklist (WOC) were used to interview them. No difference was seen between the present and the standardized samples. Also, the findings suggested that the victims underwent more intrusion than avoidance. The GHQ scores of 56% of the participants was above the cutoff point of 4. The victims used confrontive coping, distancing, self-controlling, accepting responsibility, escape-avoidance, and positive reappraisal more than the standardized samples. The results of the path analysis indicated that escape-avoidance coping strategy predicted avoidance and distancing and escape-avoidance coping strategies predicted intrusion. The escape-avoidance strategies and distancing predicted the total GHQ. It was thus concluded that the traumatic stress exhibited by the victims was in part related to the specific coping model that the authors had hypothesized. Distress was not accounted for by the victims seeking social support. (CIRRIE Abstract)
Institution: University of Plymouth, Department of Psychology, Plymouth PL4 8AA, Devon, England. UK. firstname.lastname@example.org