Same as it ever was, only worse: Negative life events and poverty among New Orleans Katrina survivors

Hawkins, R. L.
Families in Society, 90(4), 375 – 381.

This study is a qualitative grounded theory examination of the pre- and post-Katrina life of hurricane survivors. Forty heads of households with school-age children who lived in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina were interviewed 6 to 8 months apart. Findings suggest that low-income study participants had experienced multiple negative life events linked to their poverty status prior to Hurricane Katrina. Participants described negative life events that included social isolation, physical and mental health problems, high debt or financial insecurity, dangerous neighborhoods, witnessing early deaths, experience with or witnessing violence and child abuse, experience with or witnessing incarceration, and teen pregnancy. Implications for practice and policy include a call for more comprehensive approaches to providing services to low-income families.

Wagner Faculty