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The effects of the Columbia shuttle disaster on the daily lives of older adults: Findings from the VA Normative Aging Study

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During 2002–2003 the VA Normative Aging Study conducted an eight-day diary survey of stressors and well-being. A sub-sample of 19 men and 13 women (mean age=71.78) completed daily questionnaires before and after the Columbia shuttle exploded on 1st February 2003, presenting a unique look into peoples' daily lives before and after a tragic event. Results indicated no significant changes in negative affect or physical symptoms, but people reported significant decreases in both positive affect and memory failures on days following the shuttle explosion. Implications of these findings and directions for future research are discussed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh 2: Department of Human Development and Family Studies, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park 3: Department of Child Development and Family Studies and Center on Aging and the Life Course, Purdue University, West Lafayette 4: VA Boston Healthcare System and Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, USA

Publication date: 01 May 2006

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