Predicting resilience in a rural community prone to natural disasters

Kanakis, Katerina, and McShane, Connar (2014) Predicting resilience in a rural community prone to natural disasters. In: Abstracts from the 6th Australian Rural and Remote Mental Health Symposium. From: 6th Australian Rural and Remote Mental Health Symposium, 12-14 November 2015, Albury, NSW, Australia.

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The amount a community is prepared for a natural disaster impacts on their ability to be resilient during and after the event has occurred. Predicting the factors that influence the level of preparation can provide useful recommendations in increasing the level of resilience. The key variables that were investigated to predict preparation and resilience included social capital, self-efficacy and perceived threat. It was expected that high self-efficacy and high perceived threat would predict more preparation for a weather event and that this would be mediated by social capital factors. It was also expected that high levels of preparatory behaviour and perceived preparedness would predict high levels of resilience.

A total of 279 participants from a cyclone and flood prone community in North Queensland completed the questionnaire package. The questionnaire asked participants about their previous experiences with extreme weather events, preparation, concern, perceived threat, self-efficacy, social capital and resilience.

It was found that only self-efficacy predicted preparatory behaviour (p < .00) and this was only mediated by social connectedness (p < .00). Furthermore, preparatory behaviour was found to predict perceived preparedness (p < .00) which predicted resilience (p < .00). Findings from this study suggest that increasing an individual's self-efficacy and social connectedness will increase the likelihood of the individual engaging in preparatory behaviours. This implies that greater social capital will contribute to improved community preparedness for a future weather event. The findings also imply that both physical and psychological preparations need to be made to be resilient to natural disaster. Thus it would be beneficial for individual interventions and disaster preparedness campaigns aimed at disaster prone communities to target increasing individual self-efficacy and community social capital factors in order to increase the preparation undertaken for a weather event.

Item ID: 40250
Item Type: Conference Item (Abstract / Summary)
Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2015 03:43
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170113 Social and Community Psychology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920209 Mental Health Services @ 100%
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