Community Attachment and Negative Affective States in the Context of the BP Deepwater Horizon Disaster
- Matthew R. Lee, Louisiana State University, 126 Stubbs Hall, Baton Rouge, LA 70803
This study advances research on the mental health impacts of disasters by examining how a mainstay of the sociological literature, community attachment, influences negative affective states such as anxiety and fear stimulated by a technological disaster. Survey data were collected in three coastal Louisiana parishes (counties) geographically proximate to the BP oil spill of 2010 while the oil was still flowing. The data reveal that community attachment is associated with higher levels of negative affect. This finding holds for those tied to the fishing and seafood industry, those tied to the oil industry, and those having no immediate links to either industry. These results highlight that although community attachment is essential for community resilience, it can also be disruptive to individual well-being when technological disasters occur in communities dependent on renewable and natural resources.
Matthew R. Lee is a professor of sociology and Associate Vice Chancellor in the Office of Research and Economic Development at Louisiana State University. His research interests include communities, crime, and public health.
Troy C. Blanchard is an associate professor of sociology at Louisiana State University. His research examines the impact of community social and economic organizations on demographic outcomes within U.S. communities. His most recent work focuses on the effect of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on community attachment, mental and physical health, and migration intentions of Gulf Coast residents.
The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Support for this research was provided by a grant from the Office of the Dean, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Louisiana State University. The interpretations and conclusions presented here are independent of the funding source.
- © 2012 SAGE Publications