3/11 and 9/11: A multifaceted investigation of a survivor exchange program

Phoebe G. Prioleau, Tony Pham, David S. Anderson, Robert T. Yanagisawa, Kanako Taku, Meriam Lobel, Craig L. Katz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The 3/11 “triple disaster“ created unique and unprecedented challenges for residents of the Tohoku area. However, the general issues of coping with a large-scale disaster and its aftermath are universal. Using a combination of quantitative and qualitative survey methods, this chapter will discuss the effects of an exchange program on visiting 9/11 survivors from the United States and their Japanese hosts. In 2012, docents from the 9/11 Tribute Center traveled to Japan on a mission of community outreach together with representatives from New York-area Rotary Clubs and a major medical center. They visited 3/11 survivors to share their own experiences of tragedy and recovery, and met with school communities, evacuees in temporary housing, and local Rotarians. Two subsequent trips took place in 2013 and 2014. We assessed the impact of these visits in 2014 by administering a survey to Japanese Rotarian hosts that included demographic information, measures of the trip's significance, and the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory. We also conducted interviews with participants from the US and Japanese trip volunteers. We will report on the quantitative results of this survey and discuss the responses of the Rotarian hosts as well as the respondents' comments on how the outreach mission impacted them. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first of its kind to explore exchanges between survivors of different disasters. The chapter draws implications for ongoing post-3/11 outreach efforts in Japan and for post-disaster outreach in general, and fills a void in the disaster global mental health literature.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMental Health and Social Issues Following a Nuclear Accident
Subtitle of host publicationThe Case of Fukushima
PublisherSpringer Japan
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9784431556992
ISBN (Print)9784431556985
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • 3/11
  • 9/11
  • Disaster mental health
  • Posttraumatic growth
  • Psychological first aid


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