Volume 24, Number 2

Contents - Volume 24, Number 2

Published September 2020
Volume 24, Number 2 (complete issue)

Contents page - Volume 24, Number 2


Research Papers

Social adjustment in New Zealand and Philippine emergency responders: A test of main and moderating effects of received social support

Johnrev Guilaran, Ian de Terte, Krzysztof Kaniasty & Christine Stephens

Keywords: social adjustment, posttraumatic growth, social and occupational impairment, received social support, emergency responders

This study examined the influence of received social support on the social adjustment of emergency responders. Emergency responders (N = 223) from New Zealand and the Philippines answered an online questionnaire measuring demographic variables, duty-related traumatic exposure, social support received from different sources, and social adjustment (i.e., social and occupational impairment, posttraumatic growth in interpersonal relationships). Results of hierarchical regression analyses showed that a greater amount of received social support from supervisors and a greater amount of received emotional support were both associated with lower levels of social and occupational impairment. Additionally, higher amounts of support received from family and supervisors, as well as from all sources combined, predicted higher posttraumatic growth scores in the domain of interpersonal relationships. Received social support was not observed to moderate the effects of traumatic exposure on social adjustment. Findings were generally consistent with the main effect model of social support and underscored the differential effects of the various components of received social support on social adjustment dimensions.

Farmers’ perceptions of options for pasture remediation and recovery following major tephra fall in New Zealand

Seethal P. Sivarajan, Jan M. Lindsay, Shane J. Cronin & Thomas M. Wilson

Keywords: tephra fall, soil remediation, pasture recovery, volcanic eruption, Mt Taranaki, Mt Ruapehu, Taupō, agriculture

Many regions around the world have farms surrounding potentially active volcanoes that have been dormant for decades to centuries. Without any recent experience, a new major eruption and tephra fall would present an unfamiliar soil and pasture remediation challenge. We interviewed 23 farmers from the volcanic North Island of New Zealand in order to gain insight into the current understanding of tephra fall risk and associated production recovery strategies needed for the pastoral agricultural sector. Of the interviewees, 26% had experienced past minor tephra falls on their farms while 70% believed they were at risk of experiencing future tephra fall. Around half of all interviewed farmers (48%), including one who had previously experienced tephra fall, provided suggestions for possible remediation techniques. The remaining half (52%) did not know what to do if tephra were to fall on their farm. The farmer-suggested remediation strategies are: 1) waiting for rainfall to wash away the tephra (for thin falls), 2) cultivation, 3) re-grassing, 4) ploughing, 5) using fertilizers, 6) flipping the upper 0.5 metres of tephra and soil, and 7) physical removal. A key barrier to effective recovery is lack of rapid access to appropriate knowledge during and following a tephra fall. These findings provide potentially useful treatment strategies for heavy tephra fall on pasture and a key reference amongst the farming community when considering farm system preparedness for (and recovery from) tephra fall.

Closing the research-practice gap in emergency services organisations

Christine Owen, Noreen Krusel & Loriana Bethune

Keywords: Research-practice, research utilisation, learning organisations, fire and emergency services, emergency management

This paper outlines research conducted in Australia and New Zealand into what enables and constrains emergency services agencies to utilise research to support organisational learning and evidence-informed practice. At a time when emergency services agencies are under increasing scrutiny, being able to demonstrate the link between research and theory to practice is ever more critical. This paper reports on a mixed methods approach that includes findings from a survey of 190 participants from 29 emergency services agencies on the degree to which they perceived their agencies engaged in a number of important processes in research utilisation. Agencies had different approaches to keep up to date with research advances. In collaboration with participants from the AFAC KIRUN group, an examination of the activities described by participants identified four developmental levels of what we have called research utilisation maturity (basic, developing, established, and leading). Organisations at high levels of utilisation maturity reported higher levels of perceived effectiveness on disseminating, assessing, and evaluating research as well as monitoring and communicating changes made as a result of the research (e.g., to policy, training, or practice). Practitioners experienced barriers associated with connecting research outcomes to agency business, understanding the meaning and implications for practice, and feeling confident about assessing research findings or addressing implications for practice. Where research utilisation maturity was higher, ratings on learning were higher and barriers experienced lower. Subsequent collaboration with a practitioner group has led to the co-creation of a self-assessment research utilisation tool that agencies can use to diagnose their capability and processes to support utilising research evidence in their practice. It is important to recognise that change and innovation is developmental and requires adjustments to governance processes, job responsibilities, and participation in communities-of-practice. More work is needed to better understand the enablers and constraints to utilising research to support development of evidence-informed practice, particularly in the emergency management sector.


All papers are protected under the Creative Commons attribution as per our copyright notice.

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