A Descriptive Analysis of the Effects of Weather Disasters on Community Resilience

  • José G. Ardila SánchezEmail author
  • Ramona A. Houmanfar
  • Mark P. Alavosius


Weather and climate disasters are increasing threats to the survival of human communities across the globe. The aim of this descriptive analysis was to analyze the ways by which the citizens of Puerto Rico responded to Hurricane María’s landfall. For this purpose, we used the elaborated account of the metacontingency (Houmanfar, Rodrigues, & Ward, 2010, “Emergence & Metacontingency: Points of Contact and Departure,” Behavior and Social Issues, 19, 78–103) to analyze the community’s process of recovery and adaptation. At the group level, we identified the cultural milieu (i.e., contextual variables), as well as the emerging macrocontingencies and metacontingencies in Puerto Rico’s recovery process. The results of this analysis have theoretical and applied implications. At the theoretical level, the 5-term metacontingency effectively orients scientific work toward the identification of the psychological and sociological factors involved in the human response to natural disasters. At the applied level, identifying these factors can potentially inform future weather disaster–related preventive recovery and adaptive measures and procedures.


cultural milieu metacontingencies macrocontingencies cultural analysis climate change resilience 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Author José G. Ardila declares that he has no conflict of interest. Coauthor Ramona A. Houmanfar declares that she has no conflict of interest. Coauthor Mark. P Alavosius declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Association for Behavior Analysis International 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology/296University of Nevada, RenoRenoUSA

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