New Orleans, LA – November 13, 2018
Elaine Brown, MPH Epidemiology student presented her research findings, “The Influence of Children on Increased Domestic Conflict in Women in Southeastern Louisiana, at the 34th annual meeting of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies meeting in Washington, DC, Nov. 8-10. The Women and Their Children’s Health (WaTCH) study examined health effects from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill (DHOS) among a cohort of women in Southeastern Louisiana. Wave 1 telephone interviews, which began in 2012, obtained data that included demographic information, DHOS exposure status, and mental/behavioral health functioning. In 2014, wave 2 interviews included a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) assessment. Generalized linear models were fit to estimate the association between having a child in the household at the time of DHOS and depression, PTSD, and domestic conflict. Responses from 2038 women were included in this analysis; their mean age was 49 years, 54.1% had children living with them at the time of DHOS exposure, 60.7% were married/partnered, and 55.1% were white. Having a child in the household at the time of DHOS exposure was not associated with increased depression (p=.1666) at wave 1 or PTSD (p=.2575) at wave 2, but was associated with increased frequency and intensity of domestic conflict at wave 1. (RR=1.4303, p=.0067; RR=1.5915, p=.0039, respectively). Results from this analysis add to a growing body of evidence suggesting that female parents/caregivers are at increased risk for domestic conflict following exposure to a disaster.
Elaine Brown is a Masters of Public Health student in Epidemiology program at the LSU Health Sciences Center School of Public Health.