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October, 2004
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Current literature demonstrates that stress during pregnancy can have long-term effects on offspring. The purpose of this paper is to examine the possible stress reactions of pregnant women exposed to terrorism. The main focus is on PTSD as the predominant reaction to terrorism and how it affects pregnancy. Conclusions: Although specific research linking terrorism and stress in pregnancy has not been studied/ published, the literature reviewed shows evidence that stress caused by terrorism is acute. Women exposed directly or indirectly to terrorist attacks could be subjecting their offspring to a high level of long-term risk.

KEY WORDS: terrorism, PTSD, stresses due to terrorism, stress, pregnancy, fetal development.


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Yaara Benitzhak, MA and

Thomas R. Verny, MD, DPsych, F.R.C.P.C.

Yaara Benitzhak, M.A. is a doctoral student at the Santa Barbara Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, California. Please address correspondence about this article to Mrs. Benitzhak at: yagevbenitzhak@aol.com; 1074 Ashbury court, Camarillo, California, 93010. Thomas R. Verny, M.D. is a member of the faculty of the Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology Program of the Santa Barbara Graduate Institute, Santa Barbara, California.