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Studies highlight impact of Sept. 11, Iraq war on adolescents

editation on lowering pressure for those at risk to be hypertensive adults. These studies, funded by the National Institutes of Health and American Heart Association, have continued to show the benefit of meditation on lowering blood pressure and improving school-related behavior. Meditation along with other interventions may help young people impacted by events related to the war on terrorism, the researchers say.

The 9-11 study looked at 400 African-American adolescents at T.W. Josey Comprehensive High School in Augusta, Ga., measuring heart rates and blood pressures of these teens. Researchers used standardized measures to look at psychosocial resources such as control, hope, optimism and perceived support as well as post-traumatic stress symptoms. They also asked adolescents about their usual level and expression of anger and hostility, noting a correlation between those who said they expressed anger the most and those reporting the most negative impact from 9-11.

"Very little has been done with children in terms of their reaction to these attacks and nothing has been published regarding the impact on adolescents," Dr. Barnes says. His study found that 9-11 attacks had quite an impact, even though the adolescents lived far from the terrorist attacks, in that 28 percent of the teens felt pessimistic about their future, 26 percent expressed a loss of faith in government protection and 22 percent were pessimistic about world peace. Nearly 54 percent reported feeling closer to at least one person because of how they reacted to the disaster. Other U.S. studies involving adults living far from the 9-11 attack sites have shown similar symptoms of physical and psychological stress.

The Iraq War study looked at similar parameters for 149 adolescents at the Academy of Richmond County in Augusta, the high school for most adolescents who live on base at nearby Fort Gordon. Studies were conducted when the war began last March and again last M
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Contact: Toni Baker
tbaker@mcg.edu
706-721-4421
Medical College of Georgia
3-Mar-2004


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