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Contents & Abstracts
Volume 2002-2

The Australasian Journal of Disaster
and Trauma Studies
ISSN:  1174-4707
Volume : 2002-2

Editorial :
by Douglas Paton


After the war is over ... PTSD symptoms in World War II veterans
by Margaret Lindorff

Keywords: World War II; Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; Combat exposure

Little is known about the psychological effects of war service on Australian World War II veterans. Eighty-eight survivors of one of the war's most intense actions responded to a survey asking for their recollections of the battle, and for a description of its affect upon them. Many said that they had yet to recover from the experience. Large numbers indicated continuing ill effects. These included nightmares, sleeplessness, negative imagery, "flashbacks", problems with concentration, weeping, generalized anxiety, and distress caused by situations recalling the battle. Many commented that they had never talked to anyone about their war experiences, or the effects of these experiences. Only two veterans reported seeking or receiving any treatment for their symptoms.

Link to full paper

Involuntary resettlement, Impoverishment Risks and Sustainable Livelihoods
by Dr Christopher McDowell

Keywords: sustainable livelihoods, reconstruction, institutions, impoverishment risks

Recent research on impoverishment risks arising out development-induced involuntary population displacement is improving our understanding of rural development processes more generally. Following comparative studies of the process of livelihood destruction and re-establishment dynamics among communities resettled as a result of planned development and war, this article develops a methodological framework for post-disaster reconstruction research. Combining recent Sustainable Livelihoods Research and the concept of Impoverishment Risks and Reconstruction, it argues that a focus on institutions and sustainability will help shape research to better understand the impacts of disasters and induced-displacement processes on the livelihoods of affected populations.

Link to full paper

A Hostage Trauma Assignment in Fiji
by A.J.W. Taylor, E. Nailatikau & F.H.Walkey

Keywords: Hostages, hostage families, stress trauma, religion, justice, cross-cultural/organisational

Following a crisis in Fiji in which political hostages were taken, interviews were held with some of the Parliamentarians and staff that were released early, and visits were paid to the families of those still detained. Clinically in both groups trauma was very much in evidence, with supporting psychometric scores above those of a normative group of controls. Those with a diagnostic condition of either ASD or PTSD scored significantly higher than their counterparts on the GHQ20, the HSCL21, and the IES. The Fijian participants scored higher than the others, and the males scored higher than the females. Yet the manifest strength that participants drew from their religious beliefs suggests the outcome might have been worse had they not been so devout. At the same time many expressed a deep sense of outrage that drew attention to social justice as a basic psychological need. In conducting the research, cross-cultural and inter-organisational problems were encountered, with the former proving more manageable than the latter.

Link to full paper

Book Review

Decision Making in Complex, Evolving Emergencies
Decision Making Under Stress: Emerging themes and applications
by Flin, R., Salas, E., Strub, M. and Martin, L. (eds) (1997), Aldershot: Ashgate. ISBN: 0 291 39856 1
as reviewed by Douglas Paton, School of Psychology, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.
Responding to emergencies: Decision making and team perspectives
Incident Command: Tales from the hot seat
by Flin, R., & Arbuthnot, K. (eds) (2002), Aldershot: Ashgate. ISBN: 0 7546 1341 0
as reviewed by Douglas Paton, School of Psychology, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.

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