Coping with displacement from Hurricane Katrina: predictors of one-year post-traumatic stress and depression symptom trajectories

Anxiety Stress Coping. 2009 Jul;22(4):413-32. doi: 10.1080/10615800902855781.


This study examined predictors of symptom trajectories of 93 adult survivors of Hurricane Katrina who were displaced and relocated to Colorado. Survivors were interviewed within six months of the hurricane and then again six months later. Four symptom trajectories were identified for clinical levels of depression and post-traumatic stress: resilient, recovered, delayed onset, and chronic. High levels of adaptive coping and coping efficacy characterized the resilient groups and low levels of both characterized the chronic groups. The recovered groups were characterized by low levels of adaptive coping coupled with high coping efficacy, and the delayed groups were characterized by high secondary control coping in the presence of low primary control coping, though some symptom-specific differences were found for these two groups. African American (67%) participants did not differ from European American (28%) participants in terms of membership in trajectory groups, though analyses revealed that displacement stress and positive religious coping were especially relevant predictors for African American participants. The results are interpreted in light of the Conservation of Resources Theory (Hobfoll, 2001) and implications for treatment and preventive intervention are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Black or African American / psychology
  • Black or African American / statistics & numerical data
  • Chronic Disease
  • Colorado
  • Cyclonic Storms*
  • Depressive Disorder / etiology
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Life Change Events*
  • Male
  • New Orleans
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Religion and Psychology
  • Sex Distribution
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / etiology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology*
  • Stress, Psychological / complications
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*
  • United States
  • White People / psychology
  • White People / statistics & numerical data