Neighborhood Socioeconomic Status and Women’s Mental Health: A Longitudinal Study of Hurricane Katrina Survivors, 2005–2015

Angela Maithy Nguyen, Yeerae Kim, David M. Abramson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is limited knowledge on the relationship between neighborhood factors and mental health among displaced disaster survivors, particularly among women. Hurricane Katrina (Katrina) was the largest internal displacement in the United States (U.S.), which presented itself as a natural experiment. We examined the association between neighborhood socioeconomic status (SES) and mental health among women up to 10 years following Katrina (N = 394). We also investigated whether this association was modified by move status, comparing women who were permanently displaced to those who had returned to their pre-Katrina residence. We used hierarchical linear models to measure this association, using data from the American Community Survey and the Gulf Coast Child and Family Health study. Neighborhood SES was created as an index which represented social and economic characteristics of participants’ neighborhoods. Mental health was measured using mental component summary (MCS) scores. Increased neighborhood SES was positively associated with mental health after controlling for age, race/ethnicity, economic positioning, time, and move status (19.6, 95% Confidence Interval: 5.8, 33.7). Neighborhood SES and mental health was also modified by move status. These findings underscore the need to better understand the impacts of socioeconomic conditions and health outcomes among women affected by natural disasters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number925
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • Hurricane Katrina
  • disaster mental health
  • disaster mental health
  • disaster recovery
  • natural disasters
  • neighborhood effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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