Master of Arts (MA)



Document Type



Hurricane Katrina devastated areas of New Orleans and caused the evacuation of most of the city’s residents. Many people were exposed to dangerous storms and flooding and lost many of their possessions. One of the most common psychological disorders following a disaster is Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. This study describes the PTSD symptom endorsement of a sample of women who experienced Hurricane Katrina. In addition, many of these women had previous trauma histories which are also described. Participants included 287 women from New Orleans, Jefferson and East Baton Rouge Parish recruited for a larger study on mother’s and children’s psychological functioning in the aftermath of Katrina. Participants completed the Posttraumatic Stress Diagnostic Scale and a hurricane exposure questionnaire at 4-7 months (T1) and 14-17 months (T2) post-Katrina. Trauma history, hurricane exposure and demographic variables such as race, income and education were entered into a regression analysis to predict PTSD symptom severity at Time 1. These variables and PTSD symptom severity at T1 were entered into a second regression analysis to predict PTSD symptom severity at T2. At T1, hurricane exposure, trauma history and education predicted T1 PTSD symptom severity. At T2, only T1 PTSD symptom severity was significantly predictive of T2 PTSD symptom severity. Results of the analyses and the description of symptom endorsement are discussed in light of current criticisms about the conceptualization of PTSD.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Kelley, Mary Lou



Included in

Psychology Commons