Hurricane Hugo blows down the broccoli: preschoolers' post-disaster play and adjustment

Child Psychiatry Hum Dev. 1992 Spring;22(3):139-49. doi: 10.1007/BF00705888.


This article reports highlights from over 200 parents' observations of their preschoolers' play and verbalizations in the year following Hurricane Hugo. Commonly reported activities included reenactment and discussion of the event in multiple mediums, personification of "Hugo", and expression of fears related to storms. Precocious concern for others, insight, and vocabulary were also noted. In these intact, relatively high functioning families, parents seemed able to facilitate their youngsters' adjustment without outside intervention.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Communication
  • Disasters*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Change Events
  • Male
  • Play and Playthings*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / etiology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology*
  • Verbal Behavior
  • Vocabulary