Media exposure and sympathetic nervous system reactivity predict PTSD symptoms in adolescents

In a Depression and Anxiety study that surveyed youth following the terrorist attack at the 2013 Boston marathon, adolescents with lower levels of sympathetic reactivity (the flight or fight response) before the attack developed posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms only following high exposure to media coverage of the attack. Adolescents with high levels of sympathetic reactivity developed higher levels of PTSD symptoms regardless of how much media coverage they saw.

"This study tells us more about which children are most vulnerable to symptoms of PTSD and emphasizes the importance of limiting media exposure for all children and adolescents following life- threatening events such as acts of terrorism," said senior author Dr. Margaret Sheridan.

More information: Busso, D. S., McLaughlin, K. A. and Sheridan, M. A. (2014), MEDIA EXPOSURE AND SYMPATHETIC NERVOUS SYSTEM REACTIVITY PREDICT PTSD SYMPTOMS AFTER THE BOSTON MARATHON BOMBINGS. Depress. Anxiety, 31: 551–558. DOI: 10.1002/da.22282

Related Stories

Boston marathon bombings left psychological scars on kids

date Jun 02, 2014

(HealthDay)—Children who witnessed the bombings at the Boston Marathon were six times more likely to develop symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) than those who didn't see the attack, new research ...

Recommended for you

What makes a good horror movie?

date Jul 03, 2015

Like them or hate them horror films are big business and a string of new horror films are hitting the big screen this year. But what creates the intensity of suspense? And was Alfred Hitchcock – the master ...

Decoding the statistical language of the brain

date Jul 02, 2015

Let's make a bet. You will throw a dart 10 feet and – if you hit a two-inch circular target on the wall across the room – I will give you a dollar. Otherwise, you pay me a dollar.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.