Ethnicity and Gender in the Face of a Terrorist Attack: A National Longitudinal Study of Immediate Responses and Outcomes Two Years After September 11

 This study examines ethnic and gender differences in open-ended immediate responses to an online prompt provided by a nationwide sample of 1,559 individuals in the days following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. These responses were used to predict longitudinal outcomes over the following 2 years. Results show that African Americans and women responded with more emotions (e.g., sadness, sympathy) than did Whites and men. African Americans and women also endorsed violent retaliation less often than did their White, male counterparts. Responding with sadness and sympathy and endorsing violent retaliation were, in turn, associated with higher distress and posttraumatic stress (PTS) symptoms over time. Results reveal considerable ethnic and gender differences in immediate responses to traumatic events that have long-term mental health consequences.