Hurricane Andrew: Parent conflict as a moderator of children's adjustment

Shari B. Wasserstein, Annette M. La Greca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


This project was an exploratory examination of the effects of parental conflict and ethnicity on children's stress related to Hurricane Andrew. Three months following the disaster, 89 elementary school children from ethnically diverse two-parent homes were surveyed. Children rated their symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), perceived parental conflict, their anxiety level, and hurricane-related traumatic experiences. High parental conflict was related to more PTSD symptoms. However, this was qualified by interactions with ethnicity. For Hispanic children, more parental conflict was associated with significantly more PTSD symptoms than was less parental conflict. In addition, among high parental conflict children, Hispanic children reported more PTSD symptoms than did White children. This result was not found for anxiety, suggesting that difficulties experienced by Hispanic children from high-conflict homes were specific to the traumatic event. Future research should examine the potential differential cultural impact of parental conflict on children's functioning following a disaster.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-224
Number of pages13
JournalHispanic journal of behavioral sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Linguistics and Language


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