Krys Kaniasty, of the Department of Psychology, just published “Parental Crucibles: Families Coping with Disaster” in Buchwal, Moore, and Ringeisen’s (editors) work, Stress and Anxiety: Application to Education and Health.
Disaster victims primarily rely on their indigenous support networks. Researchers observing public reactions to natural disasters and other collective catastrophes term this immediate reliance on assistance within primary groups as an “informal mass assault.” Of course, families are at the forefront of this movement, and empirical research has strongly documented the pivotal importance of kin support in coping with collective traumas. Yet, there is an inherent irony in the label “mass assault” because, more often than not, it is the family that is also at the frontal position for the victimization exposure to the forces of disasters. This chapter reviewed literature on psychological complexities experienced by families with children coping with natural and human-induced disasters.