Cognitive and Psychosocial Consequences of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita Among Middle-Aged, Older, and Oldest-Old Adults in the Louisiana Healthy Aging Study (LHAS)

Katie E. Cherry, Sandro Galea, L. Joseph Su, David A. Welsh, S. Michal Jazwinski, Jennifer L. Silva, Marla J. Erwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined the impact of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on cognitive and psychosocial functioning among middle-aged (45-64 years), older (65-89 years), and oldest-old adults (90 years and over) in the Louisiana Healthy Aging Study (LHAS). Analyses of pre- and post-disaster cognitive data showed storm-related decrements in working memory for the middle-aged and older adults, but not for the oldest-old adults. Regression analyses confirmed that measures of social engagement and storm-related disruption significantly predicted pre- to post-disaster differences in short-term and working memory performance for the middle-aged and older adults only. These results are consistent with a burden perspective on post-disaster psychological reactions. Implications for current views of disaster reactions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2463-2487
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume40
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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