May 1, 2012
SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 1, 2012 — Drury students Blake Herd and Paige Nichols won top honors in the Social/Behavioral Sciences division at the Missouri Academy of Science on April 14 at the University of Missouri. Herd and Nichols’ poster was titled “Coping with the Unexpected. Data from the Joplin Impact Study.” Nichols is a 2009 graduate of Seymour High School, and Herd is a 2009 graduate of Laquey High School.
Drury students presented two research posters based on their work with victims of the May 22, 2011 Joplin tornado. Over the course of several visits to a mission near Joplin in the fall of 2011, Drury students interviewed more than 80 victims of the tornado to assess their coping abilities. Each interviewee received a $25 gift card to Wal-Mart for taking part in the study.
Initial analysis of the research found that tornado survivors who exhibited problem-focused coping mechanisms were the most resilient, reporting the lowest levels of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress.
The Joplin Impact Project was a continuation of the work by Drury Assistant Professor of Psychology Jennifer Silva Brown who interviewed victims of hurricanes Katrina and Rita as a graduate student at Louisiana State University.
Besides Herd and Nichols, the following students also participated in the research: Alex Duello, Bailey Greene, Morgan Merrell, Melanie Messick, Spencer Prevallet.
Media contact: Dr. Jennifer Silva Brown, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Office: (417) 873-7213, Email: email@example.com