The Impact of Hurricane Katrina on Children and Adolescents: Conceptual and Methodological Implications for Assessment and Intervention

  • Russell T. JonesEmail author
  • Kelly Dugan Burns
  • Christopher S. Immel
  • Rachel M. Moore
  • Kathryn Schwartz-Goel
  • Bonnie Culpepper


Hurricane Katrina was one of the most devastating natural disasters the United States has ever encountered. Although many were adversely affected by Hurricane Katrina, this chapter focuses on children and the role traumatic events can play on their mental health. The chapter begins with an overview of the immediate and ongoing efforts of the first author and his associates in the wake of Katrina. These efforts include deployments to the Gulf Coast and his briefing of the then First Lady, Laura Bush, on the psychological ramifications that traumatic events can have on children and adolescents. A review of the research literature regarding the impact of Hurricane Katrina on youth survivors follows. Recommendations for assessment and post-disaster intervention efforts are made within the context of the dose–response model. This conceptual model illustrates the roles of many risk and protective factors, including exposure, social support, coping, race/ethnicity, age, gender, parent–child interaction. The chapter concludes with recommendations for future clinical and research initiatives.


Psychological Distress Traumatic Event Ptsd Symptom Gulf Coast Avoidant Coping 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



A special thanks is extended to first lady Laura Bush for the valuable contributions to the children affected by Hurricane Katrina. Thanks are also extended to the following individuals: Al Marie Ford, MSW (Mental Health Cultural Competence Office), Cheryll Bowers-Stephens, MD, MBA (Assistant Secretary for the Office of Mental Health), Gilda Armstrong-Butler,MSW (Assistant Director of Louisiana Spirit), Anthony Speier, PhD (Louisiana Office of Mental Health; Director of Disaster Services), and Jeanne Brooks, MA (Charles B. Murphy Middle School Teacher and Librarian).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Russell T. Jones
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kelly Dugan Burns
    • 1
  • Christopher S. Immel
    • 1
  • Rachel M. Moore
    • 1
  • Kathryn Schwartz-Goel
    • 1
  • Bonnie Culpepper
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityBlacksburgUSA

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