Post-traumatic growth among marmara earthquake survivors involved in disaster preparedness as volunteers
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CitationKarancı, N.A., Acartürk, C. (2005). Post-traumatic growth among marmara earthquake survivors involved in disaster preparedness as volunteers. Traumatology, 11(4), 307-323. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/153476560501100409
Although the negative mental health effects of traumatic experiences have been extensively examined, research has also demonstrated that people can experience a range of positive outcomes as a result of exposure to various kinds of traumatic life events. This study examined the impact of being a volunteer in a nongovernmental disaster preparedness organization, together with pre-disaster, within disaster and post-disaster variables, on posttraumatic growth among the survivors of the 1999 Marmara earthquake. The sample consisted of 200 survivors of the 1999 Marmara earthquake, 100 of whom are volunteers of the Kocaeli Neighborhood Disaster Volunteers Organization (NDV) and a control group of 100 survivors who are not volunteers, from two provinces with varying degrees of impact from the quake. Data were collected 4.5 years after the Marmara earthquake. The questionnaire used for data collection had items on socio-demographic variables, severity of subject's earthquake experiences, perceived social support and three scales assessing psychological distress, coping strategies, and stress related growth level. The results showed that, earthquake experience severity can be grouped into perceived severity of impact and perceived life threat, while coping consisted of problem focused, fatalistic, helplessness and escape coping approaches. Possible factors that may be related to growth were examined with regression analyses. The results showed that, using problem solving/optimistic and fatalistic coping, and being a disaster preparedness volunteer are significant predictors of post-traumatic growth. Results also showed that the significance of being a volunteer appeared only after controlling for coping approaches.