Exploring the Effects of Hurricane Matthew: Perceptions of Elementary Educators

ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Emily Elizabeth Schlierf (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
Web Site: http://www.ecu.edu/lib/

Abstract: Natural disasters have a traumatic impact that is pronounced in vulnerable populations such as children and areas of low socio-economic status. Children experience secondary effects from disasters such as anxiety , depression , and post-traumatic stress symptoms which are addressed by disaster relief teams and helping professionals such as physicians , nurses , counselors , educators , and child life specialists to prevent and ameliorate these consequences. The current qualitative study explores elementary school educators' experiences , perceptions , and preparation on addressing students' impacts after Hurricane Matthew. Theories of human ecology , family stress , and socio-emotional development guided this study to explore educators' viewpoints on needs , stressors , coping skills , and developmental impacts on children , including the role of child life specialists in a disaster relief setting. A qualitative approach was selected to describe and understand views of educators who work with affected children. Four elementary school educators from eastern North Carolina , an area affected by Hurricane Matthew in October of 2017 [i.e. 2016] , participated in 30-minute open-ended interviews that identified and highlighted common themes. Results indicated that educators recognized disaster-related impacts , stressors , and behaviors in students , but lacked preparedness to support and address their coping skills. Educators reported supporting students , yet expressed a need for assistance from experts and preparatory training programs. Teaching coping skills and offering support is important due to secondary traumatization among children , particularly in high poverty areas. Further suggestions are examined to address psychosocial needs of children and families undergoing disaster-related stress , including promoting the role of child life specialists.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2018
secondary trauma, coping

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Exploring the Effects of Hurricane Matthew: Perceptions of Elementary Educatorshttp://hdl.handle.net/10342/6778The described resource references, cites, or otherwise points to the related resource.