Social support promotes psychological well-being following a natural disaster

Shakespeare-Finch, Jane E. & Green, Julie (2013) Social support promotes psychological well-being following a natural disaster. In Australia & New Zealand Disaster & Emergency Management Conference, AST Management Pty Ltd, Mercure Hotel, Brisbane, QLD, pp. 210-229.


Receiving emotional support has consistently been demonstrated as an important factor associated with mental health but sparse research has investigated giving support in addition to receiving it or the types of support that predict well-being. In this paper the relationship between giving and receiving instrumental and emotional social support and psychological well-being during and following a natural disaster is investigated. A survey administered between four and six months after fatal floods was conducted with 200 community members consisting of men (n = 68) and women (n = 132) aged between 17 and 87 years. Social support experiences were assessed using the 2-Way Social Support Scale (2-Way SSS; Shakespeare-Finch & Obst, 2011) and eudemonic well-being was measured using the Psychological Well-Being Scale (PWBS; Ryff & Keyes, 1995). Hierarchical multiple regression analyses were used to examine expected relationships and to explore the differential effects of the four factors of the 2-Way SSS. Results indicated that social support shared significant positive associations with domains of psychological well-being, especially with regards to interpersonal relationships. Receiving and giving emotional support were respectively the strongest unique predictors of psychological well-being. However, receiving instrumental support predicted less autonomy. Results highlight the importance of measuring social support as a multidimensional construct and affirm that disaster response policy and practice should focus on emotional as well as instrumental needs in order to promote individual and community psychosocial health following a flooding crisis.

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ID Code: 62196
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: social support , well-being , natural disaster, CEDM
ISBN: 9781922232045
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Health Clinical and Counselling Psychology (170106)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Emergency & Disaster Management
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 30 Aug 2013 00:54
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2014 01:24

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