Collective efficacy following a series of natural disasters

  • Benight C
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Collective efficacy perceptions one year after a series of natural disasters were investigated. Fifty participants exposed to the disasters completed Time 1 (3-8 weeks post-disasters). One year later, 46 of the original sample and 20 control participants were sampled. Results demonstrated that initial lost resources, perceptions of social support, and psychological distress contributed significantly to the prediction of collective efficacy beliefs one year later. In predicting Time 2 psychological distress, lost resources and Time 2 social support were the only significant predictors. Results supported a buffering effect of social resources (e.g., social support and collective efficacy) against psychological distress under conditions of high resource loss. Disaster exposed residents reported slightly higher levels of collective efficacy beliefs than controls, yet demonstrated a similar variability of these perceptions. The association between social support and collective efficacy differed between the two samples. Results are discussed in relation to how collective efficacy beliefs may function within the chaos of a natural disaster.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Collective efficacy
  • Communal mastery
  • Coping
  • Disaster
  • Lost resources
  • Social support

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  • Charles C. Benight

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