Prolonged Financial Distress After the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Predicts Behavioral Health
- 181 Downloads
The economic impact of disasters is well known; however, the link between financial loss and behavioral health problems is unknown. Participants included 198 adults of ages 21 to 82, living within 10 miles of the Gulf Coast during the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and were involved in the fishing, harvesting, seafood processing, or service/tourism industries. The functional impact of financial resource loss at 2.5 years post spill was measured using the 26-item Financial Life Events Checklist (FLEC). Individuals responded to financial distress by reducing social events and utility bills and changing food-shopping habits. The FLEC significantly predicted higher drug use (Drug Abuse Screening Test), alcohol use (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test), mood problems (Profile of Mood States), and depressive symptoms (Beck Depression Inventory II) (p values ≤ 0.05) 4.5 years after the spill. This preliminary study supports the notion that the functional impact of financial loss has a long-term impact on behavioral health after an oil spill.
We gratefully acknowledge the support and contributions of Joe Taylor and Lori Switzer of the Franklin’s Promise Coalition. The assistance of Ryan Jollie, Darla Jones, and the Alabama Seafood Association was also greatly appreciated in this project. The contents of this paper are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official view of the NIEHS.
Support for this project comes from the National Institute of Environmental and Health Sciences [5-U19-ES020683].
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- 2.Smith LC, Smith M, Ashcroft P. Analysis of Environmental and Economic Damages from British Petroleum’s Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Albany Law Review. 2011;74(1):563–585.Google Scholar
- 4.Bomey N. BP’s Deepwater Horizon Costs Total $62B. USA Today. Available online at http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2016/07/14/bp-deepwater-horizon-costs/87087056/. Accessed on December 21, 2016.
- 7.Lynch DL. What Do Forest Fires Really Cost? Journal of Forestry. 2004;102(6):42–49.Google Scholar
- 15.Grattan LM, Brumback B, Roberts SM, et al. ‘Bouncing Back’ after the Deepwater Horizon Spill. Disaster Prevention and Management. 2017;122–133.Google Scholar
- 18.Picou S, Formichella C, Marshall B, et al. Community impacts of the Exxon Valdez oil spill: a synthesis and elaboration of social science research. In: SR Braund, J Krause (Eds). Synthesis: Three Decades of Research on Socioeconomic Effects Related to Offshore Petroleum Development in Coastal Alaska. Alaska: U.S. Department of the Interior, Minerals Management Service, 2009, pp. 279–307.Google Scholar
- 28.Hobfoll SE, Lilly RS, Jackson AP. Conservation of social resources and the self. In: HOF Veiel, U Baumann (Eds). The Meaning and Measurement of Social Support: Taking Stock of 20 Years of Research. Washington, D.C.: Hemisphere, 1991, pp. 125–141.Google Scholar
- 31.Beck AT, Steer RA, Brown GK. BDI-II, Beck Depression Inventory: Manual, Second Edition. San Antonio, TX: The Psychological Corp., 1996.Google Scholar
- 34.Barr M.S. Financial Services, Savings and Borrowing among Low-and Moderate-Income Households: Evidence from the Detroit Area Household Financial Services Survey. Paper presented at the Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies. Ithaca, New York, September 12, 2008.Google Scholar
- 36.Conger RD, Elder GH Jr., Lorenz FO, et al. Families in Troubled Times: Adapting to Change in Rural America. New York, NY: Aldine de Gruyter, 1994.Google Scholar
- 37.Lasley P, Fletcher CN, Flynn DK, et al. Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll: Summary, Spring 1985. Ames, IA: Cooperative Extension Service, Iowa State University, 1985.Google Scholar
- 41.Feldman RG. Appendix: boston occupational and environmental neurology questionnaire. In: RG Feldman (Ed). Occupational and Environmental Neurotoxicology. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott-Raven, 1999, pp. 466–474.Google Scholar
- 42.McNair DM, Lorr J, Droppleman LF. Profile of Mood States Standard Form. San Diego, CA: Educational and Industrial Testing Service, 2003.Google Scholar
- 48.Binkley M. ‘Getting By’ in Tough Times: Coping with the Fisheries Crisis. Women Studies International Forum. 2000;23(3):323–332.Google Scholar
- 49.Conger RD, Lorenz FO, Elder GH Jr., et al. Husband and Wife Differences in Response to Undesirable Life Events. Journal of Health and Social Behavior. 1993;34(1):71–88.Google Scholar
- 52.Bisson JI, Lewis C. Systematic Review of Psychological First Aid: Commissioned by the World Health Organization. ResearchGate. Available online at https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Catrin_Lewis2/publication/265069490_Systematic_Review_of_Psychological_First_Aid/links/5450d15f0cf24e8f7375a73c/Systematic-Review-of-Psychological-First-Aid.pdf. Accessed on December 21, 2016.