Anger Rumination, Forgiveness and Stress Consquences of the November 26, 2008 Mumbai Terrorist Attacks
Background: On the evening of November 26, 2008, Mumbai India was subject to a terrorist siege, an event now known as 26111, which lasted 60 plus hours and impacted individuals locally and around the world. Terrorism, an unfortunately common occurrence in India, has however not received significant attention in the literature. It was therefore our goal to describe the impact of 26/11 on a group of college students in downtown Mumbai seven months (2009) after the attacks. Methods: As part of a larger study looking at acculturation we compared the 2009 group of students with a group of students from the summer before (2008), and a group of graduate students and staff in the NYC area on the one year anniversary of 9/11 (NYC). Participants were evaluated on measures of perceived stress, traumatic stress, anger rumination and forgiveness. Results: Evaluation of the 2009 cohort illustrated the high impact of 26/11 on this population with more than half reporting elevations on measures of traumatic stress. Findings revealed higher reported levels of traumatic stress and perceived stress in the 2009 Mumbai cohort compared to the NYC cohort. The 2009 cohort also reported higher levels of anger rumination, lower levels of self-forgiveness and lower levels when asked to rate the importance of forgiveness compared to the 2008 cohort. Perceived stress, and forgiveness of others was not statistically different between the 2008 and 2009 cohorts. Conclusions: These findings paint a picture of ongoing traumatic consequence to terrorist events seven months after an event with possibly significant clinical and public health implications. However, given that this is the first evaluation of this kind in India, and cross-cultural conceptualization of trauma and terrorism are still being evaluated, it is still too soon to ascertain if these elevated levels of traumatic stress and anger rumination, and lower levels of forgiveness are secondary to cultural difference, chronic terrorism or other factors. Therefore, more research is necessary before conclusive implications of these findings can be made.
Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 75-10(E), Section: B.;Advisors: Sonia Suchday.