The impact of child-related stressors on the psychological functioning of lower-income mothers after Hurricane Katrina

Sarah Lowe, Christian S. Chan, Jean E. Rhodes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the present study, the authors examined the role of child-related stressors in the psychological adjustment of lower-income, primarily unmarried and African American, mothers (N = 386). All participants lived in areas affected by Hurricane Katrina, and about a third were also exposed to Hurricane Rita (30.3%, n = 117). Lacking knowledge of a child's safety during the hurricanes was a significant predictor of heightened postdisaster psychological distress and posttraumatic stress, even after controlling for demographic variables, predisaster psychological distress, evacuation timing, and bereavement. From interviews with a subset of the participants (n = 57), we found that mothers consistently put their own needs behind those of their children. The authors recommend policies that promptly reunite mothers with missing children and support lower-income mothers in caring for their children during natural disasters and the aftermath.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1303-1324
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Volume32
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2011

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low income
natural disaster
interview

Keywords

  • Hurricane Katrina
  • Hurricane Rita
  • child-related stressors
  • disasters
  • lower-income mothers
  • mothering

Cite this

Lowe, Sarah ; Chan, Christian S. ; Rhodes, Jean E. / The impact of child-related stressors on the psychological functioning of lower-income mothers after Hurricane Katrina. In: Journal of Family Issues. 2011 ; Vol. 32, No. 10. pp. 1303-1324.
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The impact of child-related stressors on the psychological functioning of lower-income mothers after Hurricane Katrina. / Lowe, Sarah; Chan, Christian S.; Rhodes, Jean E.

In: Journal of Family Issues, Vol. 32, No. 10, 01.10.2011, p. 1303-1324.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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