AbstractsSocial Work

Exploring the Predictors of Psychological Distress in Children Following the Gulf Coast Hurricanes of 2005

by Jonathan Scott Brothers

Institution: Louisiana State University
Department: Social Work
Degree: MSW
Year: 2015
Keywords: attachment; PTSD; trauma; emotion regulation; hurricane
Record ID: 2060231
Full text PDF: http://etd.lsu.edu/docs/available/etd-04132015-124237/


The purpose of this study is to investigate the predictors of psychological distress in children following the Gulf Coast hurricanes of 2005. Previous literature has suggested that children that experience natural disasters, such as hurricanes, may face the same psychological dangers as children that experience other types of traumatic experiences. Thus, it is expected that children that were exposed to various stressors throughout the occurrence of the hurricanes will display more symptoms of psychological distress in the aftermath of the storms. In this study, 614 caregivers of children of ages 1 to 9 years old were sampled in a cross-sectional study to examine possible predictors of psychological distress in this population. Results indicated significant associations between various exposure variables (e.g. child was injured during hurricane, child lost belongings due to hurricane) and elevated scores on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Symptom screener and an Adjustment and Emotion Regulation Symptom screener. Conclusions from this study add to the growing body of knowledge on childrens functioning after disasters by providing results from a large sample in an area of study that has many inherent limitations.