Correlates of long-term posttraumatic stress symptoms in children following Hurricane Katrina

Child Psychiatry Hum Dev. 2010 Apr;41(2):239-50. doi: 10.1007/s10578-009-0165-6.


The present study examined the roles of loss and disruption, major life events, and social support in the relationship between exposure and PTSD symptoms in a group of children 33 months after Hurricane Katrina. One hundred fifty-six 4th, 5th, and 6th graders were surveyed in the New Orleans area. Results indicated that 46% of the children reported moderate to very severe levels of PTSD symptoms. Lower levels of classmate support and more negative life events after the hurricane were uniquely related to PTSD symptoms. Analyses did not reveal any moderating relationships among the variables. The results of this study have implications for the prevention and treatment of PTSD symptoms long after exposure to trauma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Cyclonic Storms
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Change Events*
  • Male
  • New Orleans / epidemiology
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Social Support*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / etiology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology*
  • Stress, Psychological / complications*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors