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Sociology Department Colloquium: Mary C. Waters

Photo of Professor Waters
February 19, 2015 - 12:30pm to 1:45pm
Mendenhall 101

Please join us for a colloquium being given by Mary C. Waters, M.E. Zukerman Professor of Sociology at Harvard University.

Disaster and Recovery: A Longitudinal Study of Hurricane Katrina Survivors

The RISK study—Resilience of Survivors in Hurricane Katrina is a longitudinal study of a vulnerable population—1,019 largely female African American poor people in New Orleans. They were part of a study of community college students that began a year before Hurricane Katrina. We had two waves of pre-disaster data on physical and mental health, social support, social trust, socioeconomic status and geo-coded neighborhood indicators. With support from NSF and NIH we relocated the participants and have surveyed them in 2006 and again in 2009-2010, back in New Orleans and in the 31 different states where they now lived. We also conducted 120 in depth life history interviews in 2006 and 2010 with a subset of respondents.  Drawing on this mixed methods study I discuss the disaster as a turning point in the lives of the poor, selection into post Katrina neighborhoods, and the determinants of trajectories of physical and mental health over time.