Researchers affiliated with the RISK project have published a study in Social Science & Medicine that looks at the long-term mental health consequences of Hurricane Katrina. Among the study participants—a group of low-income mothers— one in six was found to still be suffering post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS), and hurricane-related traumas were found to predict persistent PTSS.
Can natural disasters facilitate growth for their survivors?
Findings of a study involving Hurricane Katrina survivors suggest that post-traumatic growth (PTG) was evident in five different key areas for most of the low-income survivors that participated in the study. Mary Waters, PhD, and other RISK project researchers found that factors such as racially diverse communities, improved neighborhoods, and new educational and economic opportunities were credited with facilitating this growth.
What makes some natural disaster survivors more resilient than others?
Mary Waters’ research (RISK project) on the long-term consequences of a disaster on the lives of survivors is featured in this piece in Science Magazine.
Increased risk of migraine headache linked to some PTSD symptoms following a natural disaster
Those suffering from certain symptoms of PTSD (particularly intrusion, which is the inability to keep memories of the event from returning) following a natural disaster face an increased risk for migraine headaches. Harvard Pop Center Visiting Scientist Mariana Arcaya, ScD, is lead author on the paper published in Health Psychology. Other authors include Pop Center faculty members Mary Waters, PhD, and S V Subramanian. Photo: Neil Moralee on Flickr
How did Hurricane Katrina affect short & long-term happiness of survivors?
Former Harvard Pop Center Bell Fellow Rocio Calvo Vilches, PhD, Pop Center faculty member Mary Waters, PhD, and Pop Center Yerby Fellow Mariana Arcaya, ScD, co-authored a study published in the Journal of Happiness Studies titled Happily Ever After? Pre-and-Post Disaster Determinants of Happiness Among Survivors of Hurricane Katrina. The study, which compared survivors’ happiness levels pre-disaster to one and four years post-disaster, has received international media attention on fastcoexist.com,…
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