Crashing to peace

Wednesday 31 May 2000

Surviving a plane crash is clearly better than the alternative. But it may actually have positive long-term effects, claims a study presented at the 107th annual convention of the American Psychological Association in Boston. It appears that crash survivors may enjoy better mental health than those who have never been in a crash. The researchers, Gary Capobianco of Old Dominion University and Thanos Patelis of the College Board in New York, studied 15 crash survivors - 11 men and 4 women - and 8 frequent travellers who had never experienced a plane crash as controls. When tested with standard methods for their levels of anxiety, depression and emotional distress, the survivors seemed to be better off. For example, they were less likely to display rash behaviour like anger or aggression than the control group.

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