Document Detail

Children's risk and resilience following a natural disaster: Genetic vulnerability, posttraumatic stress, and depression.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  24035489     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
OBJECTIVE: We examined children's risk and resilience following a natural disaster, evaluating the role of stress, social support, and two genetic markers: the short allele of the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLPR), and the met allele of the Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF).Under high levels of hurricane exposure or hurricane-related stressors, we expected children displaying the markers would report greater symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression than children without these markers. Social support was explored as an additional moderating variable.
METHOD: Eight months after Hurricane Ike, 116 children (M age=8.85 years, SD=.89; 54% girls) residing in Galveston, Texas, provided saliva samples and completed measures of hurricane exposure and stress, and symptoms of PTSD and depression; 80 also completed a social support measure.
RESULTS: For BDNF, analyses revealed several Gene by Environment interactions; greater stress was related to more symptoms of PTSD and depression, and this effect was stronger for children with the met allele. No findings emerged for 5-HTTLPR. Stressors and social support also were associated with children's PTSD and depressive symptoms.
LIMITATIONS: Findings should be tempered by the relatively small sample, especially for analysis that included social support.
CONCLUSIONS: The met allele (BDNF) may play a role in children's disaster reactions. Further research should consider the complex interplay between genes, stressors, support, and psychological outcomes over time.
Annette M La Greca; Betty S Lai; Jutta Joormann; Beth B Auslander; Mary A Short
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2013-8-16
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of affective disorders     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1573-2517     ISO Abbreviation:  J Affect Disord     Publication Date:  2013 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-9-16     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7906073     Medline TA:  J Affect Disord     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
© 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
University of Miami, USA. Electronic address:
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