Religion and coping with trauma: Qualitative examples from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita

Christina Tausch, Loren D. Marks, Jennifer Silva Brown, Katie E. Cherry, Tracey Frias, Zia Mcwilliams, Miranda Melancon, Diane D. Sasser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


In this article, we consider the intersection of religious coping and the experience of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in a lifespan sample of adults living in south Louisiana during the 2005 storms. Participants were young, middle-age, older, and oldest-old adults who were interviewed during the post-disaster recovery period. Qualitative analyses confirmed that three dimensions of religion were represented across participants' responses. These dimensions included: (1) faith community, in relation to the significant relief effort and involvement of area churches; (2) religious practices, in the sense of participants' behavioral responses to the storms, such as prayer; and (3) spiritual beliefs, referring to faith as a mechanism underlying individual and family-level adjustment, acceptance, and personal growth in the post-disaster period. Implications for future disaster preparedness are considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)236-253
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Religion, Spirituality and Aging
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by grants from the Louisiana Board of Regents through the Millennium Trust Health Excellence Fund [HEF(2001-06)-02] and the National Institute on Aging P01 AG022064. This support is gratefully acknowledged.


  • Community
  • Disaster
  • Faith
  • Hurricanes
  • Lifespan
  • Religion
  • Spirituality beliefs


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