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Strong attachment to local communities made oil spill more stressful for many coastal residents
Date:10/7/2011

ciety. Under certain conditions, however, Lee and Blanchard suggest that strong attachments to community actually increase stress and other negative emotional states. This particular situation was unique because the natural resource base was threatened in a region that is heavily dependent economically on having a sound natural resource base. When the resource base is threatened for example fisheries being contaminated or closed high levels of community attachment often anchor people so strongly to their place of residence that they would be unwilling to move to find another place to make a living.

In addition, people who are strongly attached to their communities also tend to know lots of other people in their community who are just like them. They then have not only the personal experience of being stressed, but also end up interacting regularly with other people who are also worried, angry and fearful for their future. This can create a self-reinforcing cycle of stress and anxiety.

Based on other research they have been involved in related to Hurricane Katrina, the authors also suggest that community attachment isn't all bad. While initially it is associated with more negative emotions for those in communities affected by disasters like the oil spill, over the long term it is also likely that those people who are most attached are also likely to recover more quickly as time goes by for exactly the same reason: the high degree of social support from neighbors, friends and family their community attachment fosters.


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Contact: Ashley Berthelot
aberth4@lsu.edu
225-578-3870
Louisiana State University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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