The threat of piracy can harm the mental and physical health of seafarers. When piracy activity is elevated, seafarers work under the constant threat of being kidnapped or victimized. The chronicity of the continual fear, stress, and anxiety may degrade physical health and present as a somatic illness consistent with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptomology. In a study of disability claims from Filipino seafarers, data were analyzed to evaluate this possibility. A descriptive ex post facto methodology was chosen to ascertain whether working as a seafarer at a time when piracy attacks were high could be associated with developing somatic symptoms associated with PTSD or other types of psychological illness. For the analysis, chi-square tests of significance were used to test claim rates for seafarers compared to nonseafarers. The rates of disability claims for seafarers when compared to those of nonseafarers were 96.31 versus 56.15. Similarly, diseases and somatic symptoms associated with PTSD were 93.31 for seafarers versus 55.13 for nonseafarers. This research yielded results that demonstrate a potential association of working in a highstress environment in which one may be exposed to the threat of piracy with the development of a physical disability that demonstrates an overlap with PTSD symptomology. Future research may build on this premise and determine to what extent this exists outside of the disability realm, where symptoms may be more subtle, and whether the same association exists among all demographic groups.
|School Location:||United States -- Colorado|
|Source:||DAI-A 81/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Mental health, Criminology|
|Keywords:||Cultural psychology, Piracy, PTSD, Seafarers, Somatization|
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