When the levee breaks: Treating adolescents and families in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

Cynthia L Rowe, Howard A Liddle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Hurricane Katrina brought to the surface serious questions about the capacity of the public health system to respond to community-wide disaster. The storm and its aftermath severed developmentally protective family and community ties; thus its consequences are expected to be particularly acute for vulnerable adolescents. Research confirms that teens are at risk for a range of negative outcomes under conditions of life stress and family disorganization. Specifically, the multiple interacting risk factors for substance abuse in adolescence may be compounded when families and communities have experienced a major trauma. Further, existing service structures and treatments for working with young disaster victims may not address their risk for co-occurring substance abuse and traumatic stress reactions because they tend to be individually or peer group focused, and fail to consider the multi-systemic aspects of disaster recovery. This article proposes an innovative family-based intervention for young disaster victims, based on an empirically supported model for adolescent substance abuse, Multidimensional Family Therapy (MDFT; Liddle, 2002). Outcomes and mechanisms of the model's effects are being investigated in a randomized clinical trial with clinically referred substance-abusing teens in a New Orleans area community impacted by Hurricane Katrina.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-148
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Marital and Family Therapy
Volume34
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2008

Fingerprint

Cyclonic Storms
disaster
substance abuse
adolescent
Disaster Victims
Substance-Related Disorders
community
Disasters
peer group
Peer Group
family therapy
Family Therapy
adolescence
trauma
Psychological Stress
public health
Randomized Controlled Trials
Public Health
Wounds and Injuries
Research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)
  • Clinical Psychology

Cite this

When the levee breaks : Treating adolescents and families in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. / Rowe, Cynthia L; Liddle, Howard A.

In: Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, Vol. 34, No. 2, 01.04.2008, p. 132-148.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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