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The negative impact of psychological encouragement as enacted social support on the mental health of lightly damaged victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake

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  • 東日本大震災における軽度被災者のメンタルヘルスに対するソーシャル・サポートの負の効果
  • ヒガシニホン ダイシンサイ ニ オケル ケイド ヒサイシャ ノ メンタル ヘルス ニ タイスル ソーシャル ・ サポート ノ マケ ノ コウカ

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Abstract

Th purpose of the study is to examine the impact of received social support on the mental health of victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake. An Internet survey was conducted on September 9, 2011. Participants were victims of the disaster aged 18-69 years who lived in Miyagi prefecture (N=1,000). Depression was measured using the Japanese version of K6. Types and times of social support received within one month from the earthquake were measured. Samples were divided into lightly damaged victims (n=781) and severely damaged victims (n=219). Statistical analyses showed that cases who received "psychological encour-agement" tend to have depression after half a year of the earthquake only in the case of lightly damaged victims. Controlling for stressful events such as the death of family members and depression in the one month following the earthquake, psychological encouragement maintained a significant effect on depression for half a year from the earthquake. The mechanism that produced this correlation was explained in terms of the ambiguous and unstable identity of lightly damaged victims of the disaster.

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