Date of Award

1-1-2009

Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Department

Psychology

Sub-Department

Clinical-Community Psychology

First Advisor

Bret R. Kloos

Abstract

Hurricane Katrina caused a devastating amount of damage to the Gulf Coast region, but the psychological toll this category 5 storm exacted from the region has received less attention. This study explored how gender, race, SES status and resilience may have influenced the clinical outcomes that emerged as a result of stressful events from Hurricane Katrina. Two-hundred eight participants completed the Brief Symptom Inventory, the Impact of Events Scale, the Neighborhood Social Climate scale, the short Network of Relationships Inventory and participated in semi-structured interviews in New Orleans, LA and Columbia, SC. Results indicated female and non-Black participants reported higher psychiatric distress than male or Black participants and male and higher SES participants reported higher perceptions of community tolerance than female and lower SES participants. All individuals with increased psychiatric distress experienced elevated access to resilient behaviors. Implications for natural disaster research and future directions in policy making are discussed.

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