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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

An exploration of musician resilience in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina
by Morris, James, Ph.D., Tulane University, School of Social Work, 2013, 155; 3572788
Abstract (Summary)

Considerable attention has been paid to the impacts of disasters on affected populations, with special attention to disaster mental health on vulnerable populations. When Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans in 2005, 80% of the city was flooded forcing a mandatory evacuation. At-risk and marginalized communities are the most vulnerable to the impacts of this disaster. The musicians of New Orleans are representative of such a community, and are dispersed across the city representing a wide range of disaster experiences. The experiences of musicians as an at-risk community in a disaster context across evacuation, displacement, and returning to the city have significant impacts on mental health and stress, but also on the social and cultural aspects of life as a musician. While being a member of an at-risk population increases vulnerability to the impact of a disaster, some musicians have proven resilient. This study sought to better understand the factors of resilient musicians in an effort to better inform how to assist this socially and culturally important population in subsequent disasters. Using a Variable-Generating Activity (VGA), 10 musicians were interviewed about their lived experiences before, during and after Hurricane Katrina to create items for a scale of musician resilience. Musicians were nominated as being resilient from a list of 502 musician contacts from the New Orleans Musicians Assistance Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to assisting musicians since Hurricane Katrina. The VGA uses qualitative tenets of triangulation in videotaped interviews of musicians to identify factors associated with musician resilience. Analysis of the musician interviews yielded 155 original truisms associated with factors of musician risk and resilience in a post-Katrina context. 28 truisms were removed as duplicates or redundant, leaving 127 unique truisms spanning the themes of the musician experience including: Risk Factors, Stress and Mental Health; Protective Factors; Social Support; Psychological Impact of Music; and, Community Connection and Mentoring. Discussion of findings supported previous research on musicians, disaster mental health, and associated topics of disaster resilience, including community connection, social support, access to resources, and personal interpretation of disaster outcomes. This study further supports the appropriateness of Conservation of Resources as a useful model with at-risk populations affected by disaster.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Figley, Charles R.
Commitee: Aber, Richard, Marks, Ron
School: Tulane University, School of Social Work
Department: Social Work
School Location: United States -- Louisiana
Source: DAI-A 74/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Music, Social work, Clinical psychology
Keywords: Disaster, Hurricane Katrina, Louisiana, Mentoring, Musician, New Orleans, Resilience, Stress
Publication Number: 3572788
ISBN: 978-1-303-39762-2
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