Online Program

Differential life outlook after experiencing a natural disaster (Hurricane Ike) among low income women with a diverse racial/ethnic background in Southeast Texas

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Zhao Wu, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT
Yinhui Duan, M.S., Department of Community Medicine, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT
Kacey Richards, MPH, Department of Psychiatry, University of Connecticut
James Grady, DrPH, Center of Biostistics - CICATS, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington
Aim: To describe differential experiences in Hurricane Ike in a sample of young, low income women with diverse racial/ethnic backgrounds in Southeast Texas. Methods: In the midst of a longitudinal study, the eye of Hurricane Ike landed near where the study was being conducted in Sept 2008. A subgroup of 413 women consented to complete a hurricane-related survey including Perceived Benefits Scale (PBS) to measure disaster-related positive and negative life outlook as well as emotional dis-regulation scale and self-control scale. Results: Of the 413 participants aged 18 to 30, 57.0% were African-American, 24.6% White and 18.3% Hispanic. The mean score for PBS positive responses was 59.74 and that for negative responses was 6.59. More African-American women reported both positive and negative responses to Hurricane Ike than did white or Hispanic women. Further, women with higher emotional disreguation scores reported lower PBS positive outlook scores. Women who scored higher on sub-categories of “non-acceptance (unable to accept what had happened to them)”, “Impulse”, “Strategies” (more likely to have trouble making problem-solving strategies), and “Clarity” (more likely to experience the event as unclear) reported lower positive outlook scores and higher negative scores. Women with higher self-control scores were more positive, while those with lower self-control scores were more negative. Conclusion: African American women reported different outlooks than white and Hispanic women in the event of Hurricane Ike. In addition, intervention strategies to improve emotional regulation and self control may be fruitful to cope with natural disaster.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify different patterns of life outlook facing a major natural disaster among a sample of young, low income women

Keyword(s): Women's Health, Disasters

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am PhD student and have been working with Dr. Wu on her NIH funded projects. I am developing my research in women's health research in the U.S. as well as in China.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.