Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



This dissertation research leverages disaster resilience and social systems theories from the disciplines of sociology and social work to extend beyond extant literature concerned with child and family resilience to technological (i.e., human-caused) disaster. More specifically, this research seeks to characterize long-term impacts of the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill (DHOS) on families living in South Louisiana. Three analyses utilize data collected as part of the Resilient Children, Youth, and Communities (RCYC) study, a face-to-face, longitudinal panel survey and corresponding series of focus groups that followed families living in spill-affected Louisiana parishes from 2014-2018. RCYC data include information on oil-spill related variables such as exposure, economic changes, health and mental/behavioral health concerns, health care access, neighborhood and community characteristics, and use of social media. Using these data, three analytic approaches are employed to explore unique facets of individual child, parent, or family resilience characteristics with contextual dynamics from another system of social functioning. Findings from the three studies presented in this dissertation contribute to an existing body of knowledge concerned with the effect of disaster exposure on interrelated individual, family and community systems, and the role of sociodemographic characteristics in mediating such effects. Understanding the ways in which the DHOS has impacted children, families, and communities has important implications for future research and policy work to support and foster disaster resilience in vulnerable areas.



Committee Chair

Slack, Tim



Available for download on Monday, October 25, 2027

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Sociology Commons