Social, cultural, and psychological impacts of the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

Author:

Palinkas, L., Downs, M., Petterson, J., & Russell, J.

Editor:

First

Date:

1993

Region:

North America

Theme:

Gender and Other Natural Hazards

Language:

English

Publisher:

Society for Applied Anthropology

Full Harvard Reference:

Palinkas, L., Downs, M., Petterson, J., & Russell, J. (1993). Social, cultural, and psychological impacts of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Human Organization, 52(1), 1-13.

This is one of the earliest studies to look at the impacts of a disaster with a gender lens. The sociocultural and psychological impacts of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill were examined in a population-based study of 594 men and women living in I3 Alaskan communities approximately one year after the spill occurred. A progressive "dose-response'' relationship was found between exposure to the oil spill and the subsequent cleanup efforts and the following variables: reported declines in traditional social relations with family members, friends, neighbours and co-workers; a decline in subsistence production and distribution activities; perceived increases in the amount of and problems associated with drinking, drug abuse, and domestic violence; a decline in perceived health status and an increase in the number of medical conditions verified by a physician: and increased post-spill rates of generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression.