Longitudinal Assessment of Cognitive and Psychosocial Functioning After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita: Exploring Disaster Impact on Middle-Aged, Older, and Oldest-Old Adults

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The authors examined the effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita (HKR) on cognitive and psychosocial functioning in a lifespan sample of adults 6 to 14 months after the storms. Participants were recruited from the Louisiana Healthy Aging Study (LHAS). Most were assessed during the immediate impact period and retested for this study. Analyses of pre-and post-disaster cognitive data confirmed that storm-related decrements in working memory for middle-aged and older adults observed in the immediate impact period had returned to pre-hurricane levels in the post-disaster recovery period. Middle-aged adults reported more storm-related stressors and greater levels of stress than the two older groups at both waves of testing. These results are consistent with a burden perspective on post-disaster psychological reactions.

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Journal of applied biobehavioral research

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