Children and Disasters

Lori Peek, David M. Abramson, Robin S. Cox, Alice Fothergill, Jennifer Tobin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Although researchers have studied children’s reactions to disaster since the 1940s, this subfield has expanded tremendously over the past decade. In fact, nearly half of all studies on children and disaster have been published since 2010, and most of this recent scholarship has focused on a limited number of large-scale catastrophic events. This chapter highlights six major waves of research on children and disaster, including contributions to our understanding of (1) the effects of disaster on children’s mental health and behavioral reactions; (2) disaster exposure as it relates to physical health and well-being; (3) social vulnerability and sociodemographic characteristics; (4) the role of institutions and socio-ecological context in shaping children’s pre- and post-disaster outcomes; (5) resiliency, strengths, and capacities; and (6) children’s voices, perspectives, and actions across the disaster lifecycle. Throughout, the chapter emphasizes advances in methods, theory, policy, and practice. It concludes with recommendations for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbooks of Sociology and Social Research
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages20
StatePublished - 2018

Publication series

NameHandbooks of Sociology and Social Research
ISSN (Print)1389-6903
ISSN (Electronic)2542-839X


  • Children
  • Mental health
  • Resiliency
  • Social vulnerability
  • Socio-ecological theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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