Emotional, behavioral, and physiological effects of chronic stress at Three Mile Island

Andrew Baum, Robert Joseph Gatchel, Marc A. Schaeffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

224 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

38 Three Mile Island (TMI) residents (mean age 33.3 yrs) were compared with 32 people (mean age 35.8 yrs) living near an undamaged nuclear power plant, 24 people (mean age 34.1 yrs) living near a traditional coal-fired power plant, and 27 people (mean age 30.9 yrs) living in an area more than 20 miles from any power plant. A number of self-report measures of psychological stress were evaluated by administering the Symptom Checklist-90 and the Beck Depression Inventory more than 1 yr after the nuclear accident. Two behavioral measures of stress were obtained: performances on a proofreading task and an embedded-figures task. Urinary catecholamine levels were assayed to examine chronic stress-related sympathetic arousal. Results indicate that Ss in the TMI area exhibited more symptoms of stress more than 1 yr after the nuclear accident than did Ss living under different circumstances. Although the intensity of these problems appears to be subclinical, the persistence of stress may be cause for some concern. (25 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)565-572
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Volume51
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 1983

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Radioactive Hazard Release
Power Plants
Islands
Nuclear Power Plants
Coal
Arousal
Checklist
Psychological Stress
Self Report
Catecholamines
Depression
Equipment and Supplies

Keywords

  • behavioral &
  • emotional &
  • physiological measures of stress, Three Mile Island residents

Cite this

Baum, Andrew ; Gatchel, Robert Joseph ; Schaeffer, Marc A. / Emotional, behavioral, and physiological effects of chronic stress at Three Mile Island. In: Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. 1983 ; Vol. 51, No. 4. pp. 565-572.
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Emotional, behavioral, and physiological effects of chronic stress at Three Mile Island. / Baum, Andrew; Gatchel, Robert Joseph; Schaeffer, Marc A.

In: Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Vol. 51, No. 4, 01.08.1983, p. 565-572.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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