Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in School Psychology


Educational Services and Leadership


College of Education


Dihoff, Roberta

Committee Member 1

Klanderman, John


September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001; Stress (Psychology)


Educational Psychology


In September of 2001, the world entered a period of recovery from the terrorist attacks on our nation which will engender decades of struggle to study, analyze and express the effects of that day by almost every conceivable field of human endeavor. The purpose of this study was to describe levels of stress throughout the nation during the first two weeks of January 2002. It was hypothesized that those people who were in closest geographic proximity to the disasters would have the highest levels of stress. The present study consisted of 96 respondents. 22 of those were within a 20-mile radius of the attack on 9-11. 36 respondents were from distances over 600 miles, primarily California. The remaining 37 were in areas approximately 150 to 500 miles from the attacks. The Impact of Event Scale-Revised was administered by e-mail and mail to a group of volunteers known to the examiner, who were asked to send it to friends and family. Respondents also answered a demographic information sheet which included questions regarding patriotism and self-report of behaviors such as fear of anthrax. Results indicated that levels of stress as measured by the IES-R were only slightly higher in the Manhattan-Washington group than in the California group. The greatest difference appeared in levels of "intrusion" stress, particularly sleep disturbance. When questioned informally, the New York group claimed lower levels of stress than the West Coast group did.