Application of a Theoretical Model Toward Understanding Continued Food Insecurity Post Hurricane Katrina

Lauren A. Clay, Mia A. Papas, Kimberly Gill, David M. Abramson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective Disaster recovery efforts focus on restoring basic needs to survivors, such as food, water, and shelter. However, long after the immediate recovery phase is over, some individuals will continue to experience unmet needs. Ongoing food insecurity has been identified as a post-disaster problem. There is a paucity of information regarding the factors that might place an individual at risk for continued food insecurity post disaster. Methods Using data from a sample (n=737) of households severely impacted by Hurricane Katrina, we estimated the associations between food insecurity and structural, physical and mental health, and psychosocial factors 5 years after Hurricane Katrina. Logistic regression models were fit and odds ratios (OR) and 95% CI estimated. Results Nearly one-quarter of respondents (23%) reported food insecurity 5 years post Katrina. Marital/partner status (OR: 0.7, CI: 0.42, 0.99), self-efficacy (OR: 0.56, CI: 0.37, 0.84), sense of community (OR: 0.7, CI: 0.44, 0.98), and social support (OR: 0.59, CI: 0.39, 0.89) lowered the odds of food insecurity and explained most of the effects of mental health distress on food insecurity. Social support, self-efficacy, and being partnered were protective against food insecurity. Conclusions Recovery efforts should focus on fostering social-support networks and increased self-efficacy to improve food insecurity post disaster.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-56
Number of pages10
JournalDisaster medicine and public health preparedness
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018

Keywords

  • Food insecurity
  • Hurricane Katrina
  • disaster recovery
  • mental health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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