The effects of being a neighborhood disaster volunteer on general distress and post-traumatic growth among the survivors of 1999 Marmara earthquake

Tanrıdağlı, Z. Ceren
This study aimed to examine the possible effects of being a volunteer in a nongovernmental organization (Neighborhood Disaster Support Project) for psychological distress and posttraumatic growth following the 1999 Marmara earthquake. The predictors of psychological distress and posttraumatic growth were also investigated. Risk factors were examined as pre-earthquake variables (e.g. socio-demographic variables), earthquake variables (e.g. severity of impact), and post-earthquake variables (e.g. being a Neighborhood Disaster Volunteer (NDV) or not, and coping strategies). One hundred survivors (66 Males and 34 females with an age range of 18-59) of the earthquake, who are NDVs and a control group, composed of 100 survivors (66 Males and 34 females with an age range of 18-60) who are not NDVs participated in the study. Furthermore, in order to see the effects of being closer or further to the earthquake epicenter, half of the sample was taken from Gölcük (epicenter of the quake), and the rest were from Izmit (further from the epicenter). Data was collected 4,5 years after the earthquake by a questionnaire consisting of three parts. One psychology graduate student and five trained NDVs administered the questionnaire individually. The first part of the questionnaire had items taping socio-demographic information and earthquake experiences. The second part included items related to the experience of being a volunteer. Finally, the third part contained three scales which assessed the participants̕ psychological distress (Symptom Checklist-40), coping skills (Ways of Coping Questionnaire), and posttraumatic growth level (Stress Related Growth Scale). The results of factor analysis indicated that earthquake experience could be grouped into two factors, namely severity of impact and perceived life threat. It was found that the respondents had significantly higher perceived


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Citation Formats
Z. C. Tanrıdağlı, “The effects of being a neighborhood disaster volunteer on general distress and post-traumatic growth among the survivors of 1999 Marmara earthquake,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2005.