Mental Health, Social Support, and Active Coping in Nepali Earthquake Survivors

Claire Luce, Tara Leytham Powell, Youngmi Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Research has shown a positive relationship between exposure to natural disasters and common disaster-related mental health disorders. However, much more can be done to fully examine how protective factors such as perceived social support or active coping strategies are related to mental health in the context of natural disasters. This study seeks to examine the relationship between mental disorders and active coping. The article also explores analyzes the moderating effect of perceived social support on mental health. Data were collected in August 2016 as part of a longitudinal study on a mental health and psychosocial intervention in postearthquake Nepal (n = 660). Our independent variables in this study were anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress symptoms. The dependent variable was active coping. Perceived social support was tested as a potential moderating variable. Ordinary least squares regression analyses were run to examine the relationships between the three mental disorders and active coping. We also tested the moderating effect of perceived social support on the relationships between the three mental disorders and active coping. Ordinary least square analyses found a statistically significant negative relationship between active coping and anxiety (B = −0.137, p <.001), depression (B = −0.116, p <.001), and posttraumatic stress symptoms (B = −0.065, p =.337), controlling for other factors. Perceived social support significantly moderated the associations between active coping and each mental disorder: anxiety (B = 0.012, p <.05), depression (B = 0.017, p <.05), and posttraumatic stress symptoms (B = 0.064, p <.05). Our findings suggest that perceived social support moderates the relationship between common mental disorders and active coping in Nepali earthquake survivors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Behavioral Scientist
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • active coping
  • mental health
  • natural disasters
  • perceived social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)

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