Families Dealing with Disaster Study looks for participants to determine long-term coping and resilience strategies after fires

Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Erika Felix

Despite the obvious and long-term effects of trying to cope with disasters such as the Black Forest and Waldo Canyon wildfires, little research has been done to examine the interdependence of how parents and children affect one another as they recover and rebuild. A team of researchers at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, University of California Santa Barbara, and the University of Iowa are looking for participants to take part in surveys about their experiences to ensure that supportive services can be designed to address the real needs of families.

Parents and children aged 11-17 years old are being invited to participate. In addition to helping create a knowledge base about ways in which family members manage their thoughts, emotions, coping, and relationships after a disaster – and thereby help guide supportive services for families in the long term – participants will receive a small gift card as a token of appreciation.

Participants will be asked to complete a series of 20 minute online surveys: one now, another six months from now, and a third in one year, so the researchers can find out how things are going over time.

To find out more the Families dealing with Disaster Study and to sign up, those interested should see www.cowildfiresurvey.isrc.uiowa.edu or call Ashley at 866-778-5819.

The Principal Investigator of this National Institute of Child Health and Development funded study is Erika Felix, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology at UC Santa Barbara. Her research interests include school bullying and peer victimization, disaster mental health, and school-based prevention and intervention services for youth. Dr. Felix received her Ph.D. in clinical-community psychology from DePaul University. Dr. Felix has co-authored several scholarly publications and presentations in the areas of peer victimization, disaster mental health, preventive interventions for youth, and program evaluation. Dr. Felix has lectured locally and internationally on trauma and mental health services for youth. She is a member of the American Psychological Association and the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.

[Erika Felix is avaliable for interviews; please contact George Yatchisin at 805-893-5789]