Date of Award
Hurricane exposure places youth at risk for psychological distress such as symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression, while social support may contribute to resilience following disasters. This study examined associations among family and peer social support, level of hurricane exposure, and psychological distress using both a large single-time assessment sample (N = 1098) and a longitudinal sample followed over a six-month period (n = 192). Higher levels of hurricane exposure were related to lower levels of social support from family and peers as well as to higher levels of psychological distress. Higher levels of family and peer social support demonstrated both concurrent and longitudinal associations with lower levels of psychological distress, with associations varying by social support source and psychological distress outcome. Findings suggested that the protective effects of high peer social support against the development of PTSD symptoms may be diminished by high hurricane exposure.
Banks, Donice M., "Hurricane-Exposed Youth and Psychological Distress: An Examination of the Role of Social Support" (2013). University of New Orleans Theses and Dissertations. 1723.