Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 24, Issue 5, pp 1262–1270 | Cite as

Posttraumatic Stress, Anxiety, and Depression Symptoms Among Children After Hurricane Katrina: A Latent Profile Analysis

  • Betty S. Lai
  • Mary Lou Kelley
  • Katherine M. Harrison
  • Julia E. Thompson
  • Shannon Self-Brown
Original Paper


This study utilized latent profile analysis to identify typologies of distress [i.e., patterns of posttraumatic stress (PTS), anxiety, and depression symptoms] among children exposed to Hurricane Katrina. Outcomes and risk factors for these pattern groups were examined. Participants were children (n = 353; ages 8–15 years) affected by Hurricane Katrina. Children were assessed at 3–7 months (Time 1) and 14–17 months (Time 2) post-Katrina. Results identified three pattern groups (No Disturbance, PTS Only, and Mixed Internalizing) at Time 1. Children in the No Disturbance group reported the lowest levels of internal distress, while the Mixed Internalizing group reported the highest levels of internal distress at Time 2. The Mixed Internalizing and the PTS Only groups reported greater school problems than the No Disturbance group at Time 2. Perceived life threat and community violence exposure were risk factors associated with higher likelihood of falling in the PTS Only and Mixed Internalizing groups, compared to the No Disturbance group. Immediate loss and disruption was also a risk factor associated with a higher likelihood of falling in the PTS Only group, compared to the No Disturbance group. Finally, social support from parents or a classmate/friend was a significant protective factor associated with a lower likelihood of falling into a symptomatic pattern group.


Posttraumatic stress symptoms Anxiety Depression Children Disasters Latent profile analysis 



This material is based upon work supported by the US Department of Homeland Security under Award Number: 2008-ST-061-ND 0001 and a research grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (RMH-078148A). We would like to thank Constance Ogokeh and Brooke Beaulieu for their administrative assistance with this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Betty S. Lai
    • 1
  • Mary Lou Kelley
    • 2
  • Katherine M. Harrison
    • 2
  • Julia E. Thompson
    • 2
  • Shannon Self-Brown
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Public HealthGeorgia State UniversityAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA

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