Open Access Research

Impact of resilience enhancing programs on youth surviving the Beslan school siege

Stefan Vetter1*, Igor Dulaev2, Mario Mueller1, Robert R Henley1, William T Gallo3 and Zalina Kanukova2

Author Affiliations

1 Centre for Disaster and Military Psychiatry, University of Zurich, Switzerland

2 North Ossetian Institute of Humanitarian and Social Research, Vladikavkaz, Russian Federation

3 CUNY School of Public Health and Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging and Longevity, Hunter College, USA

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Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health 2010, 4:11  doi:10.1186/1753-2000-4-11

Published: 22 April 2010

Abstract

The objective of this study was to evaluate a resilience-enhancing program for youth (mean age = 13.32 years) from Beslan, North Ossetia, in the Russian Federation. The program, offered in the summer of 2006, combined recreation, sport, and psychosocial rehabilitation activities for 94 participants, 46 of who were taken hostage in the 2004 school tragedy and experienced those events first hand. Self-reported resilience, as measured by the CD-RISC, was compared within subjects at the study baseline and at two follow-up assessments: immediately after the program and 6 months later. We also compared changes in resilience levels across groups that differed in their traumatic experiences. The results indicate a significant intra-participant mean increase in resilience at both follow-up assessments, and greater self-reported improvements in resilience processes for participants who experienced more trauma events.