Impact of social capital on psychological distress and interaction with house destruction and displacement after the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011

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23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aim: Social capital has been considered an important factor affecting mental-health outcomes, such as psychological distress in post-disaster settings. Although disaster-related house condition and displacement could affect both social capital and psychological distress, limited studies have investigated interactions. This study aimed to examine the association between social capital and psychological distress, taking into consideration the interaction of disaster-related house condition after the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011. Methods: Using data from 3793 adults living in Shichigahama, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, we examined the association between social capital measured by generalized trust and psychological distress measured by the Kessler 6 scale. We conducted stratified analysis to investigate an interaction of house destruction and displacement. Multivariate analyses taking into consideration the interaction were performed. Results: In the crude analysis, low social capital (odds ratio [OR] 4.46; 95% confidence interval [CI], 3.27–6.07) and large-scale house destruction (OR 1.96; 95%CI, 1.47–2.62) were significantly associated with psychological distress. Stratified analyses detected an interaction with house destruction and displacement (P for interaction = 0.04). Multivariate analysis with interaction term revealed that individuals with low social capital, large-scale house damage, and displacement were at greater risk of psychological distress, corresponding to adjusted OR of 5.78 (95%CI, 3.48–9.60). Conclusion: In the post-disaster setting, low social capital increased the risk of psychological distress, especially among individuals who had large-scale house destruction. Among the participants with severe disaster damage, high social capital would play an important role in protecting mental health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-60
Number of pages9
JournalPsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences
Volume71
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jan 1

Keywords

  • disaster
  • house destruction
  • interaction
  • psychological distress
  • social capital

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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