Psychological effects of natural disaster: Traumatic events and losses at different disaster stages

Shuei Kozu, Allison Gibson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Communities across the globe face unprecedented environmental challenges such as natural disasters, influenced by factors such as climate change and an increasing global population. Given that disasters frequently result in loss and tragedy, this chapter describes the phenomenon of traumatic grief post-disaster. Traumatic grief is the bereavement profession's way of defining grief thoughts and reactions that may be beyond the scope of normal grief reactions in intensity and duration, because, often, loss and tragedy occurred as a result of a traumatic event. Consequently, treating people suffering from traumatic grief can be challenging. A sudden bereavement, such as in the case of a disaster, is more likely to result in traumatic grief reactions than an expected bereavement. In this chapter, first, we will discuss the traumatic impact of a disaster event or events. Second, we review the evidence for traumatic grief interventions across the lifespan. Third, we highlight a series of community-based programs to support grieving children, adults, and families post-disaster. To advance our treatment of traumatic grief, and to adequately respond to the well-being needs of those affected by disaster events, it is advantageous to periodically review progress and identify current gaps of unmet needs.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Intersection of Trauma and Disaster Behavioral Health
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9783030515256
StatePublished - Nov 19 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020.


  • Clinical practice
  • Disaster recovery
  • Disaster response
  • Life stages
  • Natural disaster
  • Traumatic grief
  • Traumatic reactions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology (all)
  • Medicine (all)
  • Social Sciences (all)
  • Health Professions (all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (all)
  • Environmental Science (all)


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