Evaluation of identified stressors in children and adolescents after Super Storm Sandy

Margaret Quinn, Diane Gillooly, Sarah Kelly, John Kolassa, Elizabeth Davis, Stephane Jankowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Super Storm Sandy, one of the largest storms endured by the East Coast of the United States, devastated New Jersey and the eastern seaboard. Although natural disasters affect individuals of all ages, children are particularly vulnerable because their sense of normalcy is altered. The purpose of this study was to explore the effects that exposure to Super Storm Sandy had on children who resided in New Jersey. This was a non-experimental, quantitative, cross-sectional research study. Study participants were recruited via printed flyers at disaster resource sites and on a dedicated research team’s Facebook site. Each participant completed the Hurricane Stressors Assessment Tool for Children and Adolescents as a web-based survey related to their experiences with the hurricane. One hundred and forty-one (141) children participated in this study. Age groups (preschool, child, and adolescent) had varied results based upon developmental level. Age was positively associated with finding it harder to concentrate and pay attention (r = 0.18, p = 0.04); feeling sad, down, or depressed (r = 0.17, p < 0.05); being quiet and withdrawn (r = 0.16, p = 0.05); feeling irritable and grouchy (r = 0.26, p < 0.05); and finding it harder to complete schoolwork (r = 0.32, p < 0.001). Certain parental perceptions of their child’s behavior were negatively associated with the age of the child. Children had varying degrees of experiences after Sandy. Adolescents were shown to be more aware and affected by the storm than younger children. Observations can be used for intervention initiatives in the post-natural disaster period, encouraging healthcare providers to acknowledge family and community healing to provide adequate mental health referrals in the post-disaster period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-241
Number of pages7
JournalPediatric Nursing
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2016


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