a1 Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, The Flinders University of South Australia, Australia
This longitudinal study examined the psychological impact of a bushfire disaster on a group of 808 children aged from 5 to 12. Contrary to prediction, the prevalence of behaviour and emotional problems 2 months after the fire was less than the prevalence in a carefully selected comparison group. Rather than decrease with time, the prevalence of psychological morbidity increased significantly, being as great 26 months after the disaster as at 8 months.
c1 Address for correspondence: Dr A. C. McFarlane, Department of Psychiatry, Flinders Medical Centre, Bedford Park, South Australia 3042, Australia