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Hurricane-related Trauma

ISTSS members receive full access to the Journal of Traumatic Stress courtesy of their ISTSS membership.

In rapid response to the devastating hurricanes that recently have affected so many across the globe, this virtual special issue of JTS brings together both recent and classic papers to assist trauma specialists in their efforts to better understand the factors that predict posttraumatic reactions and recovery in the aftermath of hurricane-related disasters. One of the key themes that emerges from a careful reading of this collection concerns the importance of understanding diversity, both across cultures and within cultures. Moreover, dimensions of diversity that affect hurricane-related trauma involve not only ethnicity but also developmental level, socioeconomic status, and access to resources. Significantly, the resources that impart resilience to both adults and children include not only financial and concrete assets but also those that derive from social relationships—those to be found in community connections, relations with family members, and interactions with providers of psychological first aid and trauma-focused psychotherapies. Although the results of these studies attest to the fact that the psychological impacts of exposure to hurricane-related disasters can be long-lasting, they also offer a strong note of hope regarding the capacity for resilience and the effectiveness of evidence-based interventions for survivors.