Campus: CSU Stanislaus -- December 06, 2002

CSU Stanislaus Professor Documents Effects Of September 11 On Children

Children in the Manhattan neighborhood where terrorists demolished the World Trade Center have trouble sleeping at night because of visions of planes crashing into their houses, according to research by a California State University, Stanislaus professor.

Immediately following the September 11 terrorist attacks, CSU Stanislaus Professor of Sociology Paul O’Brien interviewed school superintendents and teachers in Manhattan’s financial district, where more than 8,000 students attend school. He presented his research at a National Science Foundation (NSF) conference a few months later. His study will be published in an NSF book scheduled for release in spring 2003 and featuring research by other sociologists, political scientists, economists and anthropologists who have been gathering information in the New York neighborhood since the September 11 terrorist attacks.

“The tragic September 11 events will have a great effect on the psychology of our nation’s children and adults for generations to come,” O’Brien said.

O’Brien has since conducted follow-up interviews with many members of Manhattan’s education communities on how the attacks continue to affect the lives of those in the community.

He found that school systems nationwide, including the Manhattan school system, struggle with implementing expensive emergency preparedness plans at a time when funds are sorely needed to support existing education programs.

“The events and issues surrounding September 11 will continue to be a concern nationally and globally. Annual commemorations will bring these concerns to mind and underscore the public’s need to understand the issues. There will always be a place in public discourse for scholarly analysis to dispel conjecture, rumor and outright bias. Outstanding scholars such as Dr. Paul O’Brien perform a great service that extends well beyond the academic community,” said Dr. Marvalene Hughes, CSU Stanislaus President.

O’Brien plans to return to New York in spring 2003 to continue his research.
Contact: Don Hansen (209) 667-3997

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