Study: Hurricanes linked with mental ills

May 09, 2006

Florida State University sociologists say they have found a link between the effects of devastating hurricanes and mental health problems.

The scientists say they discovered some South Floridians who survived 1992's Hurricane Andrew suffered mental health problems many years later. That has led to a prediction of even more dire consequences for those who lived through last year's Hurricane Katrina that ravaged the U.S. Gulf Coast.

The researchers in Tallahassee -- sociology doctoral student and lead author David Russell and professors John Taylor and Donald Lloyd -- say although the short-term mental health consequences of Hurricane Andrew have been documented, their study of adolescents is the first to show the storm inflicted long-term effects on mental health.

"We found that people who ... had pre-existing symptoms of psychological distress were more adversely affected by exposure to hurricane-related stressful events," Russell said.

"Based on our findings, we believe intervention efforts should include assessments of the prior experiences and psychological well-being of disaster victims. Doing so will aid response workers in identifying those most at risk for developing post-disaster psychological problems."

The study was presented recently in New Orleans during the annual meeting of the Southern Sociological Society.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Ebola reveals shortcomings of African solidarity

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Teachers on the front line following attack in Boston

Jan 08, 2015

Results of a survey to be published in School Mental Health suggest that while teachers are well-tuned to student psychological distress following a crisis, support varies considerably. The study, led by ...

Workplace leaders improve employee wellbeing

Dec 17, 2014

Researchers from The University of Queensland have found managers can increase productivity levels and prevent burnout by helping employees feel part of a group.

Clearer future for blind thanks to vOICe device

Dec 12, 2014

New findings from researchers in our Department of Psychology could pave the way for better treatments for blind and partially-sighted people using the revolutionary sensory substitution device, 'The vOICe'. ...

Verbal abuse in the workplace: Are men or women most at risk?

Nov 18, 2014

There is no significant difference in the prevalence of verbal abuse in the workplace between men and women, according to a systematic review of the literature conducted by researchers at the Institut universitaire de santé ...

Recommended for you

Ebola reveals shortcomings of African solidarity

16 hours ago

As Africa's leaders meet in Ethiopia to discuss the Ebola crisis, expectations of firm action will be tempered by criticism over the continent's poor record in the early stages of the epidemic.

Second bird flu case confirmed in Canada

Jan 30, 2015

The husband of a Canadian who was diagnosed earlier this week with bird flu after returning from a trip to China has also tested positive for the virus, health officials said Friday.

Jamaica Senate starts debate on pot decriminalization bill

Jan 30, 2015

Jamaica's Senate on Friday started debating a bill that would decriminalize possession of small amounts of pot and establish a licensing agency to regulate a lawful medical marijuana industry on the island where the drug ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.