Migration and Family Separation Experiences of New Orleans Children after Hurricane Katrina

Aubrey Spriggs Madkour, Tulane University

Disaster exposure has been linked with children's increased aggression, bullying, PTSD and other behavioral and emotional difficulties. Family displacement and separation may exacerbate such outcomes by disrupting children’s connection to parents, social networks, and social resources (e.g., schools) that provide a positive developmental context. Household breakup was more prevalent among New Orleans households in the year after Katrina than in other metropolitan areas, yet the extent of such experiences for children has not been studied. In this paper, data from the Displaced New Orleans Residents Survey (DNORS) will be used to describe children’s (age <18) migration and family separation experiences; variability according to child (e.g., age, gender, race) or household (e.g., SES, housing damage, family structure) characteristics; and the relationship of these factors to child health outcomes (change in overall health). Results will further our knowledge of disaster effects on child outcomes and inform future disaster-response efforts geared toward children.

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Presented in Session 140: Impacts of Conflicts and Natural Disasters I