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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2018-389
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2018-389
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 14 Jan 2019

Research article | 14 Jan 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS).

We can help us: Does Community Resilience Buffer Against the Negative Impact of Flooding on Mental Health?

Torsten Masson1,2, Sebastian Bamberg1, Michael Stricker1, and Anna Heidenreich1 Torsten Masson et al.
  • 1Department of Social Work, University of Applied Sciences Bielefeld, Germany
  • 2University of Leipzig

Abstract. Empirical evidence on the relationship between social support and post-disaster mental health provides support for a general beneficial effect of social support (main-effect model; Wheaton, 1985). From a theoretical perspective, a buffering effect of social support on the relationship between disaster-related stress and mental health also seems plausible (stress-buffering-model; ibid.). Previous studies however a) have paid less attention to the buffering effect of social support and b) they have mainly relied on interpersonal support (but not collective-level support such as community resilience) when investigating this issue. This work might has underestimated the effect of support on post-disaster mental health. Building on a sample of residents in Germany recently affected by flooding (N = 118), we show that community resilience to flooding (but not general interpersonal social support) buffered against the negative effects of flooding on post-disaster mental health. The results support the stress-buffering model and call for a more detailed look at the relationship between support/resilience and post-disaster adjustment, including collective-level variables.

Torsten Masson et al.
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Short summary
In the current study (N = 118), we found evidence for a buffering effect of community resilience (as a form of social support) on post-disaster mental health and life satisfaction. Our work shows that previous work might has underestimated the effect of social support on post-disaster adjustment. Applying (statistical) moderator analysis, the current work contributes to the discussion on the role of social factors for mental health outcomes of flooding.
In the current study (N = 118), we found evidence for a buffering effect of community resilience...
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