Differences in post-disaster mental health among Vietnamese and African Americans living in adjacent urban communities flooded by Katrina

Mengxi Zhang, Mark VanLandingham, Yoon Soo Park, Philip Anglewicz, David M. Abramson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Some communities recover more quickly after a disaster than others. Some differentials in recovery are explained by variation in the level of disaster-related community damage and differences in pre-disaster community characteristics, e.g., the quality of housing stock. But distinct communities that are similar on the above characteristics may experience different recovery trajectories, and, if so, these different trajectories must be due to more subtle differences among them. Our principal objective is to assess short-term and long-term post-disaster mental health for Vietnamese and African Americans living in two adjacent communities in eastern New Orleans that were similarly flooded by Hurricane Katrina. We employ data from two population-based cohort studies that include a sample of African American adults (the Gulf Coast Child and Family Health [GCAFH study]) and a sample of Vietnamese American adults (Katrina Impacts on Vietnamese Americans [KATIVA NOLA study]) living in adjacent neighborhoods in eastern New Orleans who were assessed near the second and thirteenth anniversaries of the disaster. Using the 12-Item Short Form Survey (SF-12) as the basis of our outcome measure, we find in multivariate analysis a significant advantage in post-disaster mental health for Vietnamese Americans over their African American counterparts at the two-year mark, but that this advantage had disappeared by the thirteenth anniversary of the Katrina disaster.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0255303
JournalPloS one
Volume16
Issue number8 August
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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