Longitudinal assessment of cognitive and psychosocial functioning after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita: Exploring disaster impact on middle-aged, older, and oldest-old adults

Katie E. Cherry, Jennifer Silva Brown, Loren D. Marks, Sandro Galea, Julia Volaufova, Christina Lefante, L. Joseph Su, David A. Welsh, S. Michal Jazwinski, Meghan B. Allen, Gloria Anderson, Iina E. Antikainen, Arturo M. Arce, Jennifer Arceneaux, Mark A. Batzer, Emily O. Boudreaux, Lauri Byerley, Catherine M. Champagne, Liliana Cosenza, M. Elaine CressJenny Y. Denver, Andy Deutsch, Devon A. Dobrosielski, Rebecca Ellis, Marla J. Erwin, Mark Erwin, Jennifer Fabre, Elizabeth T. Fontham, Madlyn Frisard, Paula Geiselman, Lindsey Goodwin, Tiffany Hall, Scott W. Herke, Jennifer Hayden, Kristi Hebert, Fernanda Holton, Hui Chen Hsu, Sangkyu Kim, Beth G. Kimball, Christina King-Rowley, Kim Landry, Carl Lavie, Daniel LaVie, Matthew Leblanc, Li Li, Hui Yi Lin, Kay Lopez, John D. Mountz, Jennifer Owens, Kim B. Pedersen, Andrew Pellett, Eric Ravussin, Paul Remedios, Yolanda Robertson, Jennifer Rood, Henry Rothschild, Ryan A. Russell, Erin Sandifer, Beth Schmidt, Robert Schwartz, Donald K. Scott, Mandy Shipp, Jennifer L. Silva, Jessica Thomson, Valerie Toups, Crystal Traylor, Cruz Velasco Gonzalez, Celeste Waguespack, Jerilyn A. Walker, Michael A. Welsch, Robert H. Wood, Sarah Zehr, Pili Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The authors examined the effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on cognitive and psychosocial functioning in a lifespan sample of adults 6-14 months after the storms. Participants were recruited from the Louisiana Healthy Aging Study. 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-211
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Applied Biobehavioral Research
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cultural Studies

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