Keywords

young cohort, Baton Rouge, emergent theme, coping resource, meaning making

Abstract

Very few studies in the disaster literature include elderly adults, whose life experiences, perceptions, and spiritual needs in the post-disaster period may markedly differ in comparison to younger cohorts. In this 3, we address the topic of how young, middle age, older, and oldest-old adults coped with and made meaning of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita during the storms and their aftermath. The individuals who provided the qualitative interviews upon which this chapter is based were enrolled in the Louisiana Healthy Aging Study (LHAS), a multidisciplinary study of the determinants of longevity and healthy aging (see Cherry, Silva, & Galea, Chapter 9 of this volume). We begin this chapter by presenting three central themes to contextualize our findings. These themes include (1) crisis, in the sense of a significant, developmental turning point (cf. Erikson E.H., 1998); (2) coping, a behavioral response to stressful events; and (3) meaning making, which pertains to an individual’s unique interpretation of an event and attributions for why it happened. We describe the sample, interview procedures, coding process, and emergent themes arising from the qualitative interviews. Implications for adjustment, acceptance, and personal growth in the post-disaster period are considered.

Original Publication Citation

Marks, L. D., Cherry, K., & *Silva, J. (2009). Faith, crisis, coping, and meaning making after Katrina: A qualitative, cross-cohort examination. In K. Cherry (ed.), Lifespan Perspectives on Natural Disasters: Coping with Katrina, Rita and other Storms (pp. 195-215). New York: Springer.

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date

2009-06-08

Publisher

Springer

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor

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