Chapter

Lifespan Perspectives on Natural Disasters

pp 65-94

Date:

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

  • Russell T. JonesAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Email author 
  • , Kelly Dugan BurnsAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • , Christopher S. ImmelAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • , Rachel M. MooreAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • , Kathryn Schwartz-GoelAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • , Bonnie CulpepperAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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Abstract

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.