Advertisement

Current Psychology

, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 551–563 | Cite as

Perceptions of Older Adults in a Community Accepting Displaced Survivors of Hurricane Katrina

  • Yoshinori Kamo
  • Tammy L. Henderson
  • Karen A. Roberto
  • Kimberly L. Peabody
  • Jamikka K. White
Article

Abstract

We examined the perceptions of older, long-term residents of Baton Rouge, LA, a primary receiving city of persons displaced by Hurricane Katrina, toward their community before and after Hurricane Katrina and their attitudes toward displaced newcomers to their community. Using a mixed method design, we conducted face-to-face interviews with a convenience sample of adults aged 60 and older 6 to 10 months after the storm. We used descriptive statistics, mean difference tests, multiple regression analyses, and Grounded Theory Methods. Residents’ perceived changes in their communities included traffic, crime, and other changes (e.g., number of people in stores and restaurants, access to services, delays in mail and cell phone service, and cost of insurance premiums) weeks following Hurricane Katrina. Six to ten months later, older residents in our Baton Rouge sample perceived significant improvement regarding traffic and costs of living, but crime and daily hassles left a long-term scar on the community and its older residents. While Baton Rouge residents in our sample reported becoming friendlier, more patient, and more tolerant of others, they also became more suspicious, more fearful of others, and feeling taken advantage of by displaced survivors. Factors affecting their perceptions of interpersonal relationships included the participant’s perceived changes in their communities. Suggestions are offered on disaster preparedness and response policies to minimize negative effects of a disaster on host cities.

Keywords

Hurricane Katrina Older residents Receiving city Changes in community Perception of others Compassion fatigue 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This manuscript is based on work supported by the National Science Foundation—NSF Grant Number No. 0650909. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this manuscript are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. The authors would like to thank our collaborators, including local churches, New Orleans Council on Aging, East Baton Rouge Council on Aging, Council on Aging in St. Tammany, the Governor’s Office on Elderly Affairs, the Advocate, Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of New Orleans, Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, and others for their assistance with this project. We also would like to thank Allie Hassen and Danielle King, Undergraduate Research Assistants at Oklahoma State University, for their assistance on this project.

References

  1. Anfara, V. A., Jr., Brown, K. M., & Mangione, T. L. (2002). Qualitative analysis on stage: making the research process more public. Educational Researcher, 31, 28–38. doi: 10.3102/0013189X031007028.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bacher, R., Devlin, T., Calongne, K., Duplechain, J., & Pertuit, S. (2005). LSU in the eye of the storm: A University model for disaster response. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University.Google Scholar
  3. Baton Rouge Police Department. (2014). Baton Rouge crime statistics. http://brgov.com/dept/brpd/csr/
  4. Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The ecology of human development: Experiments by nature and design. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Bronfenbrenner, U. (1986). Ecology of the family as a context for human development: research perspectives. Developmental Psychology, 22, 723–742.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Campbell, L. (2007). Utilizing compassion fatigue education in Hurricane Ivan and Katrina. Clinical Social Work Journal, 35, 165–171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Charmaz, K. (2006). Constructing grounded theory. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  8. Cherry, K. E., Silva, J. L., & Galea, S. (2009). Natural disasters and the oldest-old: A psychological perspective on coping and health in late life. In K. E. Cherry (Ed.), Lifespan perspectives on natural disasters: Coping with Katrina, Rita, and other storms (pp. 171–193). New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cherry, K. E., Allen, P. D., & Galea, S. (2010). Older adults and natural disasters: Lessons learned from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. In P. Dass-Brailsford (Ed.), Crisis and disaster counseling: Lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina and other disasters (pp. 115–131). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Feeney, S. (2007). Katrina fatigue: Listeners say they’ve heard enough. Nieman Reports. Retrieved from http://niemanreports.org/articles/katrina-fatigue-listeners-say-theyve-heard-enough/
  11. Figley, C. R. (1995). Compassion fatigue as secondary traumatic stress disorder: An overview. In C. R. Figley (Ed.), Compassion fatigue and coping with secondary traumatic stress disorder in those who treat the traumatized (pp. 1–20). New York: Brunner-Routledge.Google Scholar
  12. Franco, C., Toner, E., Waldhorn, R., Maldin, B., O’Tool, T., & Inglesby, T. V. (2011). Systemic collapse: medical care in the aftermath of Hurricane, Katrina. Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense, Strategy, Practice, and Science, 4, 135–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Freudenburg, W. R. (1986). The density of acquaintanceship: an overlooked variable in community research? American Journal of Sociology, 92, 27–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Henderson, T. L., Roberto, K. A., & Kamo, Y. (2010). Older adults’ responses to Hurricane Katrina: daily hassles and coping strategies. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 29, 48–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Henry, J. (2013). Return or relocate? An inductive analysis of decision-making in a disaster. Disaster, 37, 293–316. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-7717.2012.01303.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kamo, Y., Henderson, T. L., & Roberto, K. (2011). Displaced older adults’ reactions to and coping with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Journal of Family Issues, 32, 1346–1370.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kytola, K. L., Cherry, K. E., Marks, L. D., & Hatch, T. G. (2015). When neighborhoods are destroyed by disaster: Relocate or return and rebuild? To appear in K. E. Cherry (Ed.), Traumatic Stress and Long-Term Recovery: Coping with Disasters and Other Negative Life Events. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  18. Lagrange, R. L., & Ferraro, K. F. (1987). The elderly’s fear of crime: a critical examination of the research. Research on Aging, 9, 372–391.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Lamb, K., O’Brien, C., & Fenza, P. (2008). Elders at risk during disasters. Home Health Care Nurse, 26, 30–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lein, L., Angel, R., Beausoleil, J., & Bell, H. (2012). The basement of extreme poverty: Katrina survivors and poverty programs. In L. Weber & L. Peek (Eds.), Displaced: Life in the Katrina Diaspora (pp. 47–61). Austin: University of Texas Press.Google Scholar
  21. Marks, L., Cherry, K. E., & Silva, J. L. (2009). Faith, crisis, coping, and meaning making after Katrina: A qualitative, cross-cohort examination. In K. E. Cherry (Ed.), Lifespan perspectives on natural disasters: Coping with Katrina, Rita, and other storms (pp. 195–215). New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Miller, L. M. (2012). Katrina evacuee reception in rural East Texas. In L. Weber & L. Peek (Eds.), Displaced: Life in the Katrina Diaspora (pp. 104–118). Austin: University of Texas Press.Google Scholar
  23. Pardee, J. (2012). Living through displacement: Housing insecurity among low-income evacuees. In L. Weber & L. Peek (Eds.), Displaced life in the Katrina Diaspora (pp. 63–78). Austin: University of Texas Press.Google Scholar
  24. Peek, L. (2012). They call it “Katrina Fatigue”: Displaced families and discrimination in Colorado. In L. Weber & L. Peek (Eds.), Displaced life in the Katrina Diaspora (pp. 31–46). Austin: University of Texas Press.Google Scholar
  25. Ralli, T. (2005). Who’s a looter? In storm’s aftermath, Pictures kick up a different kind of tempest. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/05/business/05caption.html?_r=0.
  26. Roberto, K. A., Henderson, T. L., Kamo, Y., & McCann, B. R. (2010). Challenges to older women’s sense of self in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Health Care for Women International, 31, 981–996. doi: 10.1080/07399332.2010.500754.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Roberto, K. A., Kamo, Y., & Henderson, T. L. (2009). Encounters with Katrina: Dynamics of older adults’ social support networks. In K. E. Cherry (Ed.), Lifespan Perspectives on Natural Disasters: Coping with Katrina, Rita, and Other Storms (pp. 133–152). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  28. Sommers, S. R., Apfelbaum, E. P., Dukes, K. N., Toosi, N., & Wang, E. J. (2006). Race and media coverage of Hurricane Katrina: analysis, implications, and future research questions. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 6, 39–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Stanko, K. E., Cherry, K. E., Marks, L. D., Silva Brown, J., Gendusa, P. F., Welsh, D. A., Jazwinski, S. M., Ryker, K. S., Mughal, F., Sullivan, M.C., & Bruner, J. (this volume). Looking for the silver lining: Benefit finding after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in middle-aged and older adults.Google Scholar
  30. Steinberg L. J., Santella, N., & Zoli, C. B. (2011). Baton Rouge Post-Katrina: The role of critical infrastructure modeling in promoting resilience. Homeland Security Affairs, 7. Retrieved from https://www.hsaj.org/?fullarticl, pe = 7.1.7.
  31. Strauss, A., & Corbin, J. (1990). Basics of qualitative research: Grounded theory procedures and techniques. Newbury Park: Sage.Google Scholar
  32. Tierney, K., Bevc, C., & Kuligowski, E. (2006). Metaphors matter: disaster myths, media frames, and their consequences in Hurricane Katrina. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 604, 57–81. doi: 10.1177/0002716205285589.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Truman, J. L. (2011). Criminal victimization, 2010. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Retrieved from http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/cv10.pdf.
  34. Tulloch, M. (2000). The meaning of age differences in the fear of crime. British Journal of Criminology, 40, 451–467.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Weber, L. (2012). When demands exceed supply: Disaster response and the southern political economy. In L. Weber & L. Peek (Eds.), Displaced: Life in the Katrina Diaspora (1st ed., pp. 79–103). Austin: University of Texas Press.Google Scholar
  36. Wilson-Genderson, M., & Pruchno, R. (2013). Effects of neighborhood violence and perceptions of neighborhood safety on depressive symptoms of older adults. Social Science & Medicine, 85, 43–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yoshinori Kamo
    • 1
  • Tammy L. Henderson
    • 2
  • Karen A. Roberto
    • 3
  • Kimberly L. Peabody
    • 4
  • Jamikka K. White
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of SociologyLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA
  2. 2.Department of Human Development and Family ScienceOklahoma State UniversityStillwaterUSA
  3. 3.The Center for Gerontology and the Institute for Society, Culture and EnvironmentVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityBlacksburgUSA
  4. 4.East Saint LouisUSA

Personalised recommendations