Levels of social trust among men from refugee backgrounds after the 2011 Queensland floods

Correa-Velez, Ignacio, McMichael, Celia, & Conteh, Augustine (2014) Levels of social trust among men from refugee backgrounds after the 2011 Queensland floods. International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, 5(3), pp. 318-328.

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This paper examines the relationship between flood exposure and levels of social trust among a cohort of adult men from refugee backgrounds who were affected by the 2011 Queensland floods in Australia.


A quantitative questionnaire was administered to 141 men from refugee backgrounds almost two years after the 2011 Queensland floods. The survey was administered in person by trained peer in-terviewers, and included a number of standardised instruments assessing respondents’ so-cio-demographic characteristics, levels of social trust towards and from neighbours, the police, the wider Australian community, and the media, and exposure to and impact of the floods. Multiple logistic regression analyses were used to assess the relationship between flood exposure and social trust adjusting for pre-disaster levels of trust and other potentially confounding variables.


Participants with higher levels of flood exposure were significantly more likely to report greater levels of trust both towards and from their neighbours, the wider Australian community, and the media, and they were also more likely to believe that most people can be trusted.

Research limitations/implications

Although the study reports on data collected two years after the floods, the analysis has adjusted for pre-disaster measures of social trust and other socio-demographic variables.


Our paper has highlighted the important place of social trust and social capital for refugee communities in a post-disaster setting. Disaster responses that support social capital among marginalised populations are critical to increasing community resilience and supporting recovery.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 68231
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Refugee, Environmental disasters, Social trust, Social capital, Flood impact, CEDM
DOI: 10.1108/IJDRBE-01-2014-0011
ISSN: 1759-5908
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified (111799)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Please consult the authors
Deposited On: 10 Mar 2014 22:48
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2015 07:31

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