Volume 27, Number 1

Contents - Volume 27, Number 1

Published December 2023
Volume 27, Number 1 (complete issue)

Contents page - Volume 27, Number 1


Research Papers

Non-specific psychological distress following the Christchurch earthquake: 10 years later - How are they doing now?

Lynne Briggs, Kathryn Hay, Patricia Fronek & Sue Bagshaw

Keywords: Disasters, earthquakes, early intervention, SF-36, Demoralization DS-II, subjective incompetence, hopelessness

Christchurch, Aotearoa New Zealand, had two major earthquakes in 2010 and 2011, with thousands of aftershocks relatively close to each other. Disasters affect peoples’ lives in many ways resulting in changes to family and social relationships, employment, education, and other roles in life. Often these impacts are hidden while people struggle to cope with the immediate task of survival and surface later, after the initial reactions have subsided. This study uses in-depth interviews conducted between 2018 and 2020 to explore the longer-term impact of the earthquake on the mental health and wellbeing of a randomised sub-sample of 60 clients out of the 858 who attended for counselling at the Canterbury Charity Hospital Trust (CCHT). Self-report measures on the 36-Item Short Form health survey (SF-36v2) and the Demoralization Scale (DS-II) were completed to ascertain the participants’ current social, physical, and mental health functioning. A comparison of the CCHT SF-36v2 scores with age-specific respondents in the New Zealand 2006/07 national health survey showed that in terms of mental wellbeing the participants in this study had significantly (p < .001) poorer health than the national sample. The ongoing aftershocks and secondary stressors were also causing continual disruptions in their lives. Overall, these findings show that many years later the participants in this study were still recovering from the psychological impact of the earthquakes. This indicates the need for the development of longer-term mental health care strategies that can be better integrated into future disaster planning.

Recovery workers who have also been personally affected by disasters: Exploring the perspective of people who have dual experiences of disaster recovery

Kate Brady, Lisa Gibbs & Louise Harms

Keywords: Disaster recovery, recovery workers, emergency management, disaster, recovery

People who are employed in disaster recovery roles while simultaneously personally recovering from the impacts of the same disaster hold a unique perspective into the dimensions of recovery. However, very little has been captured about the experience of this cohort. A qualitative study was undertaken with participants who had previously experienced disaster and wrote a letter to themselves about what was helpful or unhelpful to recovery. This paper presents emergent findings from a small sub-sample of participants who were both recovery workers and personally recovering from the impacts of a disaster. These recovery workers who had been personally impacted by the disaster event: 1) experienced a misalignment between their personal and professional experiences of recovery; 2) had their personal experiences of recovery reframed by exposure to others impacted as part of their professional experience; and 3) initially prioritised their professional roles, but reached a point where their personal recovery needs took priority. Self-determination theory is presented as a potentially useful way to understand the experiences of people who have dual experiences of personal and professional involvement in disaster recovery. .

Sustaining research and researchers during the COVID-19 pandemic: A dose of the collective method as a strategy

Gonzalo Bacigalupe, Dana M. Greene, Shawna Bendeck, Sonya Cowan, Christine Gibb & Simone H. Goertz

Keywords: Collective method, slow disaster, reflexivity, COVID-19

This inquiry stems from work documenting the role of reflexivity in our research on redefining family during the COVID-19 pandemic. As social science researchers engaging with the collective method on this complex and dynamic pandemic, the tendency to divert our attention away from human behaviour to the topic-du-jour (biology, contagion curves, variants, virology, etc.) was strong. We are scholars who, as survivors, are also insiders. Introducing an autoethnographic lens in the analysis became a necessity; it was unavoidable if we were to recognize our role alongside the most vulnerable. We needed, therefore, to acknowledge that the pandemic – like the climate crisis – dissolved any illusion of being able to reflect as distant outside observers, while still affording us new and emerging opportunities for collaborative dialogue. We chose to entertain reflexivity as a core dimension for research during a pandemic through which to analyse and explore legitimate research questions and not just add a few sentences in the methodological section. The purpose of this paper is to reflect on how the collective method fuels a collective of researchers with 10 unique projects in different locations to conceptualize and operationalize a wide range of projects focused on re-defining family during this pandemic, and how the collective method functions to promote a reflexive research process.


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

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