Disaster Trauma and Place Attachment Among Hurricane Katrina Survivors
Natural disasters are devastating events that impact entire communities, and often result in psychological distress and disorder for survivors. This article summarizes a phenomenological study exploring the impact of disaster trauma on place attachment among Hurricane Katrina survivors. The study utilized data from in-depth interviews with 12 participants, supplemented with photographs and journals. Results of the study suggest that while traumatic, the disaster experience resulted in psychological growth for participants, as well as strengthened attachment to people and place. Most participants were able to glean positive meaning from the disaster experience that eased their recovery and ultimately strengthened their resilience. This research study points to the need for timely and effective community-based interventions focused on loss processing and meaning-making, attachment styles, and sense of place issues. Directions for future research on these and related issues are also explored.
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