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Letter to the Editor

Long-Term Effects of the Terrorist Attack in Beslan on Adolescent Survivors

Peter G. van der Velden and Joris C. Yzermans

Published: June 18, 2009

Article Abstract

Letter to the Editor

Sir: The important study by Moscardino et al. showed thatadolescents who survived the Beslan terrorist attack (NorthOssetia) did not report more overall levels of psychological distress(as measured with the Brief Symptom Inventory 18 andStrengths and Difficulties Questionnaire) 18 months after theevent than a group of adolescents who were not in the schoolduring the attack.

The authors conclude that these findings are in line with previousresearch suggesting that both directly and indirectly exposedchildren are at risk of developing adverse psychologicalsymptoms after terrorism-induced trauma. However, a nonexposedcontrol group was not included. Since the "normal" levelof psychological distress among comparable nonexposed adolescentsis unknown, this limitation severely hinders firm conclusionsabout the possible mid-term effects of the terroristattack and may overestimate adverse affects.’ ‹’ ‹

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Volume: 70

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