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Parental Response and Adolescent Adjustment to the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks

This study examined adolescents’ adjustment following the attacks of September 11, 2001 (9/11).
A Web-based survey was administered 2 weeks and 7 months postattacks to a national sample of
adolescents (N =104). A randomly selected parent also completed a survey at the 7-month assessment.
Although exposure to the attacks was indirect, over half the participants felt threatened. Adolescents’
posttraumatic stress symptoms were associated with their acute stress symptoms, parental distress, parental
coping advice, parental availability to discuss the attacks, and reports that 9/11-related discussions were
unhelpful. Adolescents’ distress symptoms were associated with a history of mental health problems, acute
stress symptoms, and parental unavailability to discuss the attacks.