3 years ago

Increased alcohol use after Hurricane Ike: The roles of perceived social cohesion and social control

Hurricane Ike, the third costliest hurricane in US history, made landfall in the Galveston Bay Area in September, 2008. Existing literature postulates that maladaptive behavior such as increased alcohol use is often exhibited by disaster survivors in coping with both disaster-related traumatic events and post-disaster stressful events. In addition, it has also been postulated that survivors’ perceptions of social cohesion and social control can potentially serve to moderate such behavior. The purpose of this paper is to study such hypotheses for Hurricane Ike. In particular, we investigate the following four hypotheses: (H1) There is an increase of alcohol use by survivors of Hurricane Ike in the Galveston Bay Area; (H2) There are positive associations between both Ike-related trauma and post-Ike stress events and the increase in alcohol use; (H3) There are negative associations between both perceived social cohesion and social control and the increase in alcohol use following Ike; and finally that (H4) perceived social cohesion and social control serve to moderate the associations between both Ike-related trauma and post-Ike stress events and increased alcohol use after Ike. Using public use survey-weighted data from the Galveston Bay Recovery Study (GBRS) of Ike survivors (N = 658), we tested these hypotheses using logistic regressions controlling for other key socioeconomic variables. Our results confirm H1 and H2. Hypotheses H3 and H4 are partially confirmed with respect to social control, but show that (i) there is a positive association between perceived social cohesion and the increase in alcohol use following Ike, and that (ii) while perceived social cohesion and social control do moderate the association between post-Ike stress events and increased alcohol use, they have no effect on the association between Ike-related trauma and increased alcohol use.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0277953617304860

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