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185950 A socio-ecological model of recovery in the post-disaster Gulf Coast
Monday, October 27, 2008: 1:20 PM
Most of the mental health research post-Katrina has focused upon psychopathology among the disaster survivors. Less known are the long-term health and psychological outcomes of the disaster on impacted populations, both in terms of the main effects of displacement and trauma, and the interaction effects of pre-existing individual and social conditions as well as the mediating aspects of specific response and recovery factors. The Gulf Coast Child and Family Health study, a longitudinal cohort of 1,000+ randomly sampled Gulf Coast households post-Katrina, employed a socio-ecological model to examine the social, psychological, and ecological factors associated with mental health consequences and a subjective sense of post-disaster recovery. Among the psychosocial domains included in the analysis were measures of functional social support networks, self-efficacy and locus of control, confidence in systems of security and justice, and community engagement pre- and post-Katrina. Multivariate regression analyses illustrate how mental health and recovery are less likely to be associated with demographic characteristics (such as race, age, or gender), and more likely to be associated with social, contextual, physical health, and psychological factors. This socio-ecological framework suggests that a stronger social web which incorporates elements of security, resumption of social roles and social practices, and re-engagement with social institutions could provide a therapeutic effect. This research offers significant policy relevance, both in terms of preparing more resilient communities, and in terms of incorporating these social and ecological factors in to disaster recovery policy.
Keywords: Mental Health, Research
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have directly led a number of research efforts and analyses on this subject
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.