Children who lost a parent as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001: Registry construction and population description

Claude M. Chemtob, David L. Conroy, Carl J. Hochauser, Danielle Laraque, Josette Banks, James Schmeidler, Maan Dela Cruz, William C. Nelsen, Philip J. Landrigan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Children who experience traumatic bereavement in the context of catastrophic disasters are at increased risk for developing post-disaster problems. Despite massive loss of life on September 11th, 2001, no public data were collected on those children who lost a parent in the multiple terrorist attacks. Such a registry would be an important public health tool to help mitigate the consequences of traumatic bereavement and to guide health surveillance efforts. As information about affected individuals was fragmented and difficult to congregate, we constructed our registry by conducting systematic public record searches and data exchanges with key stakeholders to identify, locate, and characterize all the 9/11 bereaved children. We identified 1,363 victims who were parents of minor children, and 2,752 bereaved children below age 18. In addition to reporting important identifying data on these children, this study also demonstrates the feasibility and the potential usefulness of such a registry to support post-disaster service provision and advocacy efforts. The construction of registries of severely affected people post-disaster should become government policy to obviate the need to use ad hoc methods to construct lists of high-risk individuals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-100
Number of pages14
JournalDeath Studies
Volume31
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2007

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