Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Disaster Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Dean Kyne

Second Advisor

Dr. William Donner

Third Advisor

Dr. Arthur Cantos


The risk of exposure to natural and man-made disasters in the United States has been an increasing concern among key stakeholders. During a disaster event, individuals living in the impacted area experience destruction through personal experience. Whereas, individuals living in other parts of the country experience the disaster second-hand through media outlets such as print, news broadcast, social media, and the Internet.

This study focuses on individuals living in the Rio Grande Valley, a location that is geographically vulnerable to natural disasters including hurricanes, flooding, flash flooding, and storm surge. The study investigates whether individuals indirectly experience stress of two types of disasters, namely hurricanes and mass shootings. A 5-point Likert scale online survey was used to collect data from individuals residing in the Rio Grande Valley. Participants were selected through a snowball sampling method. In addition, the study investigates the association between social determinants and stress.


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