Black-White Disparities in Mental Health among New Orleans Residents Four Years after Hurricane Katrina

Narayan Sastry, University of Michigan

This paper uses new data from the Displaced New Orleans Residents Survey (DNORS), fielded in 2009–10, to describe and analyze black-white disparities in mental health among pre-Katrina residents of New Orleans four years after the hurricane. It extends previous research on this topic by focusing on disparities in mental illness among pre-Katrina New Orleans residents in the medium term. This time horizon has the potential to provide two especially important insights. First, the results will reveal whether a natural/environmental disaster such as Hurricane Katrina has a lasting effect of elevating the prevalence of mental illness. Second, the findings will indicate whether the major black-white disparity in mental illness that was apparent early-on has narrowed or widened (or remained the same).

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Presented in Session 103: Environmental Impacts on Health and Mortality