Accession Number : ADA115592

Title :   Emotional Effects on USAF Personnel of Recovering and Identifying Victims from Jonestown, Guyana.

Descriptive Note : Final rept. Feb-Oct 79,

Corporate Author : SCHOOL OF AEROSPACE MEDICINE BROOKS AFB TX

Personal Author(s) : Jones,David R ; Fischer,Joseph R

PDF Url : ADA115592

Report Date : Apr 1982

Pagination or Media Count : 53

Abstract : Although much has been written about the emotional effects of disasters upon the victims, little study has been done of the effects on rescuers who were otherwise personally uninvolved. This report concerns a questionnaire survey of the emotional effects on the USAF personnel involved in recovering and identifying the mass suicide and murder victims fom Jonestown, Guyana. Questionnaires were sent to 592 participants (225, 38%, responded) and to 352 controls (76, 22% responded). These questionnaires inquired after demographic data, degree of exposure to remains, amount of emotional support available, and its perceived adequacy. Specific inquiry was made as to emotional status immediately before the Guyana project, 1 month after (the time required for the identification effort), and almost 18 months later -- at the time the questionnaire was filled out. Thus we hoped to differentiate short-term dysphoric effects from long-term effects. The control questionnaires were intended to give an estimate of the incidence of dysphoric effects due to the routine vicissitudes of life. Short-term dysphoria was reported by 32% of the 'Guyana' respondents and 9% of the controls (p .001); long-term dysphoric rates were 21% and 17% respectively (NS at the .05 level). Among the Guyana respondents, significantly higher rates of dysphoria were found in those under 25 years old, blacks (as compared to whites), and enlisted (as compared to officers). (Author)

Descriptors :   *EMOTIONS, GUYANA, DISASTERS, AIR FORCE PERSONNEL, QUESTIONNAIRES, DEMOGRAPHY, TABLES(DATA)

Subject Categories : Psychology
      Medicine and Medical Research

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE