Semester of Graduation

December 2017

Degree

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Natural disasters have a profound psychological impact on children and youth (Kelley et al., 2010; Lai et al., 2015; La Greca, et al., 1996; Vernberg et al., 1996). Much of the literature assessing risk and protective factors related to children’s post-disaster recovery has primarily focused on the development of significant clinical symptoms, largely ignoring factors associated with positive adjustment and resilience. The purpose of the current investigation was to examine parenting behaviors and family organization (i.e., child routines) as they relate to children’s self-esteem and self-reliance in a sample of 371 parent-child dyads impacted by Hurricane Katrina. A series of hierarchical regression analyses tested the hypotheses that parenting behaviors and child routines are predictive of self-esteem and self-reliance in an attempt to elucidate the relationship between family-level variables and children’s post-disaster adjustment at two time points (i.e., 3-7 and 13-17 months) following Hurricane Katrina. While hypotheses were partially supported, significant relationships were small. Results indicated that home violence exposure was the strongest predictor of self-esteem (B = -1.81, p < .05) and corporal punishment (B= .57, p < .05) was the strongest predictor of self-reliance 3-7 months post-disaster. Minority status (B = 3.47, p < .05), child gender (B = -2.74, p < .05), and poor monitoring/supervision (B = -.38, p < .05) were significant predictors of self-esteem 13-17 months post-disaster. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.

Date

11-4-2017

Committee Chair

Kelley, Mary Lou

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