Investigation of personal qualities contributing to psyhological resilience among earthquake survivors : a model testing study

Karaırmak, Özlem
This study is designed to investigate the relationships among affective and cognitive personal qualities leading to psychological resilience among natural disaster survivors. The main assumption of this study is that positive personal qualities might be associated with better psychological adjustment. The study aimed at testing a hypothesized theoretical model accounting for resilience with regard to personal qualities. The sample for this study was composed of individuals who were exposed to earthquakes that occurred in 1999 in Marmara region of Western Turkey. The study hypothesized that the dispositional cognitive and affective constructs (hope, optimism, life satisfaction, self esteem and positive affect) play vital roles in pathways to psychological resilience. Initially hypothesized model based on cognitive-behavioral theoretical foundations was proposed and tested. The cognitive behavior approach holds the idea that thoughts are the determinants of functional and dysfunctional emotions and behaviors. In the model, global self esteem serve as an underlying mechanism that helps to human operate well on the environment. The positive influence of global self esteem can be observed in cognitive process and affective domain in individuals. Simultaneously a person develops an optimistic worldview based on the global self esteem. Self esteem leads a person to construe positive cognitive constructs influencing the general world of view positively and utilize those cognitive. Since thinking patterns influence the affective side of the person, if the person utilizes positive cognitive constructs while interpreting life events, he or she is likely to experience more positive feelings and to be satisfied with life at the same time The hypothesized model was trimmed. Dispositional hope (pathways and agentic thinking), optimism, positive affect, life satisfaction and self-esteem were regarded as independent latent variables while three factors of psychological resilience were valued as the latent dependent variables. Finally, a structural model was suggested to account for the pathways leading to resilience among the Turkish disaster survivors. According to the model, self esteem, dispositional hope and optimism have indirect effect on resilience components via positive affect and life satisfaction. For purposes, the Ego Resilience Scale was adapted into Turkish. Exploratory factor analysis yielded three-factor solution for Turkish disaster survivors and the resilience factors were labeled as Personal Strengths Relating Recovery; Positive Self-Appraisals and Openness to New Experience. The results revealed that the Ego Resiliency Scale is a validated and reliable measure of psychological resilience among Turkish disaster survivors.


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Citation Formats
Ö. Karaırmak, “Investigation of personal qualities contributing to psyhological resilience among earthquake survivors : a model testing study,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2007.