Place attachment in disaster studies: measurement and the case of the 2013 Moore tornado

Alex Greer, Sherri Brokopp Binder, Alexis Thiel, Mehdi Jamali, Ali Nejat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Place attachment has gained considerable attention in disaster studies, though there is little consensus on how to conceptualize or measure this construct in post-disaster environments. Many of the place attachment scales used in disaster studies come from studies of recreational or high-amenity areas, and we do not know whether or to what extent these measures translate to disaster contexts. This paper addresses gaps in our understanding of place attachment in disaster contexts by reviewing the measurement of place attachment in the literature and by presenting findings from an empirical study of place attachment in a post-disaster environment, namely a survey study of survivors (n = 675) of the 2013 Moore, Oklahoma, USA, tornado. Through this study, we identified four dimensions of place attachment: place identity, place dependence, neighborhood quality, and detachment. We also identified several factors that were related to dimensions of place attachment after the disaster, including social participation, exposure, and risk perception. We close by suggesting avenues for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-329
Number of pages24
JournalPopulation and Environment
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020


  • Disasters
  • Measurement
  • Moore tornado
  • Natural hazards
  • Place attachment


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