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New Orleans East Vietnamese shops, Post Katrina
New Orleans East Vietnamese shops, Post Katrina

Dates: 2005-Present
Funding Source:The National Institutes of Health (NICHD; NIMH) Tulane University's Research Enhancement Award; The Thomas C. Keller Professorship at Tulane University
Tulane's Role: Primary Recipient
Countries: US
Principal Investigator: Mark J VanLandingham, PhD, MPH

Project Description

The KIVA-NOLA study originated as an immigration study. Just weeks before Hurricane Katrina struck near New Orleans on August 29, 2005, we collected a wide range of health, social, economic, and demographic data for a population-based sample of first-generation working-age Vietnamese-Americans living in New Orleans. We were able to re-interview most of these same individuals in two follow-up rounds near the first and second anniversaries of the disaster. This results in rare and highly-valuable pre and post-disaster outcomes on a wide array of standard measures of well-being for a population-based sample of New Orleans’ largest immigrant community.


Children in New Orleans East playing traditional Vietnamese instruments
Church in New Orleans East
Children in New Orleans East playing traditional Vietnamese instruments Church in New Orleans East

Early Findings

  • Vietnamese New Orleanians had among the highest rate of return among all ethnic groups
  • Crime and lack of health care were major concerns among those who had returned by the first-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
  • Use of routine health care services declined among Vietnamese Americans during the first two years after Katrina. Declines were particularly steep among women and the middle-aged.
  • Vietnamese New Orleanians have elevated levels of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following Katrina compared to Vietnamese Americans nationally.
  • Vietnamese New Orleanians have far lower rates of PTSD than those reported for other groups affected by Katrina.
  • Being comfortable in both American and Vietnamese cultures appears to provide substantial resilience in the face of a major catastrophe such as Hurricane Katrina.

List of publications from KATIVA NOLA project:

Peer-reviewed journal articles:

  1. Vu, Lung and Mark VanLandingham. 2012. Physical and mental health consequences of Katrina on Vietnamese immigrants in New Orleans: A pre- and post-disaster assessment. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health 14(3):386-394.

  2. Do, Mai, Paul Hutchinson, Kathryn Mai, and Mark VanLandingham. 2009. Disparities in health care among Vietnamese New Orleanians and the impacts of Hurricane Katrina. Research in the Sociology of Health Care 27:301-319.

  3. Norris, Fran, Mark VanLandingham, and Lung Vu. 2009. PTSD in Vietnamese Americans Following Hurricane Katrina: Prevalence, Patterns, and Predictors. Journal of Traumatic Stress 22-2: 91-101.

  4. Vu, Lung, Mark VanLandingham, Mai Do, and Carl L. Bankston III. 2009. Evacuation and Return of Vietnamese New Orleanians Affected by Hurricane Katrina. Organization and Environment 22: 422-436.

Other publications:

  1. VanLandingham Mark. 2014. How culture - and other factors – help the Vietnamese of New Orleans recover from Hurricane Katrina. Policy Brief for the Scholars Strategy Network. Cambridge, MA: Scholars Strategy Network.

  2. Tran, Thanh Cam and Mark VanLandingham. 2013. Hurricane Katrina’s Impacts on Vietnamese Americans in New Orleans, Louisiana (KATIVA-NOLA): Project Report. Manuscript.

  3. Carlin Kathleen, Alex Priebe, Caitlin Canfield, and Mark VanLandingham. 2012. Uống Nước Nhớ Nguồn (When you drink from the spring, remember the source); a narrative of Vietnamese American resilience. In Mendenhall E and A Koon, eds. Environmental Health Narratives: A Reader for Youth. University of New Mexico Press: Albuquerque, NM.

  4. Carlin, Kathleen, Alexandra Priebe, Mai Do, Carl Bankston, and Mark VanLandingham. 2011. Culture and Resiliency within a Vietnamese-American Enclave post-Katrina. Global Horizons, Center for Policy and Resilience, University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast, Long Beach, MS.

  5. Carlin, Kathleen. 2011. A hurricane is nothing! Louisiana Folklore Miscellany 21.

  6. VanLandingham, Mark. 2010. A second disaster tests Vietnamese American resilience on the Gulf Coast. Social Science Research Council’s Items and Issues 6(3).

  7. Vu, Lung and Kathleen Carlin. 2008. New Orleans’ Vietnamese-American Community continues to recover post-Katrina. Image Magazine. Spring/summer 2008; pp 32-33.

List of publications from VCNHS project:

Peer-reviewed journal articles:

  1. Fu, Hongyun and Mark VanLandingham. 2012. Mental health consequences of international migration for Vietnamese Americans and the mediating effect of social networks: Results from a natural experiment approach. Demography 49(2): 393-424 (lead article).

  2. Fu Hongyun and Mark VanLandingham. 2012. Disentangling the effects of migration, selection and acculturation on weight and body fat distribution: Results from a natural experiment involving Vietnamese Americans, returnees, and never-leavers. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health 14(5): 786-796.

  3. Fu, Hongyun and Mark VanLandingham. 2010. Mental and physical health consequences of repatriation for Vietnamese returnees. Journal of Refugee Studies 23(2): 160-182.

Peer-reviewed book chapters:

  1. VanLandingham Mark. In press. Promoting teamwork, from within and from afar. In Dingwall, Robert, and Mary McDonnell (eds). The Handbook of Research Management. London: Sage.

  2. VanLandingham, Mark and Mengxi Zhang. In press. Migration and health. In Ritzer, George and J. Michael Ryan (eds). The Encyclopedia of Sociology. Oxford: Blackwell Books.

  3. VanLandingham Mark and Hongyun Fu. 2012. Migration and health in Southeast Asia. In Williams, Lindy and Philip Guest (eds). Demographic Change in Southeast Asia. Ithaca: Cornell University Southeast Asia Program Publications.

  4. VanLandingham, Mark. 2009. Impacts of rural to urban migration on the health of young adult migrants in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. In: Luong, Hy Van (editor): Urbanization, Migration, and Poverty in a Vietnamese Metropolis: Ho Chi Minh City in Comparative Perspective. Singapore: National University of Singapore Press.

The Research Team and Partners

Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
Mary Queen of Viet Nam Community Development Corporation
Vietnamese Initiatives in Economic Training (VIET)
Vietnamese American Community in Louisiana (VAC)
Boat People SOS (BPSOS)

Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
Department of Global Health Systems and Development
1440 Canal Street, Suite 2200, New Orleans, La 70112
504.988.5164 phn 504.988.1706 fax


KATIVA-NOLA, 1440 Canal Street, Ste 2200, New Orleans, LA 70112, 504-988-3655