Experience of the September 11 Terrorist Attacks by Airline Flight Staff

Carol S. North, David E. Pollio, Barry A. Hong, Alina M. Surís, Elizabeth Terry Westerhaus, Debra Munro Kienstra, Rebecca P. Smith, Betty Pfefferbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The purpose of this exploratory study was to investigate the 9/11-related experiences, observations, and perceptions of airline flight staff highly connected to the terrorist attacks and the effects of the attacks on their work. A focus group of seven flight staff was conducted in January 2004. Spoken passages (N = 115) were categorized into themes, with excellent interrater reliability. Item count frequencies were tabulated for each theme. Five themes emerged: disaster experience, emotional response, perceived danger, interpersonal response, and workplace response. The flight staff characterized their daily work as front-line duty fraught with danger, uncertainty, and vivid reminders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322-341
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Loss and Trauma
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2013


  • disaster
  • focus groups
  • psychosocial
  • qualitative analysis
  • terrorism


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