Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling Psychology & Community Services


This study explored the effect of a natural disaster on women 65 years and older. It was a qualitative, open-ended, non-emergent, exploratory study designed to understand the issues faced and the continued responses of older women to natural disaster. Data consisted of individual written narratives and individual interviews. The constant comparison method (Glaser & Strauss, 1967; Lincoln & Guba, 1985) was used to explore emerging themes and sub-themes. The purpose was to discover what difficulties older women experienced, how or if their lives changed, and how or if they continue to be impacted by disaster. Four main themes emerged from the data. They were conceptualizing the event, disruptions, coping strategies and integration of the experience.