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Causal Attributions and Psychiatric Symptoms in Survivors of the Herald of Free Enterprise Disaster

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2018

Steve A. Joseph*
Department of Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, DeCrespigny Park, London SE5 8AF
Chris R. Brewin
MRC Social and Community Psychiatry Unit, Institute of Psychiatry, London
William Yule
Department of Clinical Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, London
Ruth Williams
Department of Clinical Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, London


The aim of the present study was to explore the relationship between causal attributions and psychiatric symptoms in those who survived the capsizing of the Herald of Free Enterprise ferry, two years following the disaster. Internal and controllable attributions for disaster-related experience are strongly related to poorer psychological outcome.

Copyright © 1991 The Royal College of Psychiatrists 

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