Religion and Coping with Trauma: Qualitative Examples from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita

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In this article, we consider the intersection of religious coping and the experience of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in a lifespan sample of adults living in South Louisiana during the 2005 storms. Participants were young, middle-age, older, and oldest-old adults who were interviewed during the post-disaster recovery period. Qualitative analyses confirmed that three dimensions of religion were represented across participants' responses. These dimensions included: 1) faith community, in relation to the significant relief effort and involvement of area churches; 2) religious practices, in the sense of participants' behavioral responses to the storms, such as prayer; and c) spiritual beliefs, referring to faith as a mechanism underlying individual and family-level adjustment, acceptance and personal growth in the post-disaster period. Implications for future disaster preparedness are considered.

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Journal of religion, spirituality & aging

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