Correlating Post-disaster Support Network Density with Reciprocal Support Relation Satisfaction: An Elderly Cohort Within One Year of the 2011 Japan Disasters
While there has been much empirical investigation into how social support networks improve mental health in post-disaster communities, network density—the extent members within a network are acquainted—remains under-researched. This study examines correlations between support network density and support reciprocity satisfaction in an elderly sample (N = 221), and the influence on post-disaster depression and trauma symptomology in a fishing community south of the Fukushima nuclear plant within 1 year of the March 11, 2011 Japan earthquake. The Brief Inventory of Social Support Exchange Network (BISSEN) taps support network density, support source by relational category, tangible and emotional type, and providing or receiving direction of social support. Density measurement convergent validity was established from questionnaire responses. After confirming network density construct and criteria validity, and extracting components reciprocal support relationship satisfaction, correlation between these two variables was moderate at r = 0.34. However, reciprocity satisfaction moderately explained mental health variance, but results were not significant for density nor interaction between predictors. These results question the assumption that support network density and support reciprocity can be validly incorporated into a construct of “social capital” necessarily promoting mental health.
KeywordsDisaster Social support Reciprocity Network density Morbidity
This work was supported by the Government of Japan Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare (Grant No. 201105016A).
Funding sources had no role in study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the paper for publication.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declared that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
- Abramson, D. M., Grattan, L. M., Mayer, B., Colten, C. E., Arosemena, F. A., Bedimo-Rung, A., et al. (2015). The resilience activation framework: A conceptual model of how access to social resources promotes adaptation and rapid recovery in post-disaster settings. The Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research, 42(1), 42–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Adeola, F. O. (2009). Mental health and psychosocial distress sequelae of Katrina: An empirical study of survivors. Human Ecology Review, 16, 195–210.Google Scholar
- Aiba, M., Tachikawa, H., Fukuoka, Y., Endo, G., Shiratori, Y., Matsui, Y., et al. (2013). Development of the brief inventory of social support exchange network (in Japanese). Seishin Igaku, 55(9), 863–873.Google Scholar
- Asukai, N., Kato, H., Kawamura, N., Kim, Y., Yamamoto, K., Kishimoto, J., et al. (2002). Reliability and validity of the Japanese-language version of the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-RJ): Four studies of different traumatic events. Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease, 190(3), 175–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Barnes, J. A. (1969). Networks and political process. In J. C. Mitchell (Ed.), Social networks in urban situations: Analyses of personal relationships in Central African towns (Vol. 3, pp. 51–74). Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill.Google Scholar
- Batson, C. D., & Powell, A. A. (2003). Altruism and prosocial behavior. In T. Millon & M. Lerner (Eds.), Handbook of psychology: Personality and social psychology (Vol. 5, pp. 463–479). Hoboken: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Bender, A. M., Kawachi, I., Jørgensen, T., & Pisinger, C. (2015). Neighborhood social capital is associated with participation in health checks of a general population: A multilevel analysis of a population-based lifestyle intervention—the Inter99 study. BMC Public Health, 15(1), 694.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Gill, D. A., & Picou, J. S. (1997). The Day The Water Died: Cultural impacts of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. In J. Picou, D. Gill, & M. Cohen (Eds.), The Exxon Valdez Disaster: Readings on a Modern Social Problem (pp. 167–187). Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt.Google Scholar
- Hikichi, H., Aida, J., Kondo, K., Tsuboya, T., Matsuyama, Y., Subramanian, S. V., et al. (2016a). Increased risk of dementia in the aftermath of a disaster: A natural experiment from the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. Proceedings of the National academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 113(45), E6911–E6918.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Hikichi, H., Aida, J., Tsuboya, T., Kondo, K., & Kawachi, I. (2016b). Can community social cohesion prevent posttraumatic stress disorder in the aftermath of a disaster? A natural experiment from the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami. American Journal of Epidemiology, 183(10), 902–910.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Ichida, Y., Goshu, Y., Hirai, H., Kondō, K., & Kobayashi, S. (2005). The health of the aged and social capital: Multilevel analysis (in Japanese). Journal of Society Rural Statistical Planning, 24, S277–S282.Google Scholar
- Inaba, Y. (2005). Economic implications of social capital: How do we deal with externalities? (in Japanese). Planning and Public Management, 28(4), 17–22.Google Scholar
- Kim, H., Sugisawa, H., Okabayashi, H., Fukaya, T., & Shibata, H. (1999). A longitudinal study on social support and life satisfaction among Japanese elderly (in Japanese). Japanese Journal of Public Health, 46(7), 532–541.Google Scholar
- Liao, C. C., Yeh, C. J., Lee, S. H., Liao, W. C., Liao, M. Y., & Lee, M. C. (2014). Providing instrumental social support is more beneficial to reduce mortality risk among the elderly with low educational level in Taiwan: A 12-year follow-up national longitudinal study. Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging, 19(4), 447–454.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- MacGillivray, A., & Walker, P. (2000). Local social capital: Making it work on the ground. In S. Baron, J. Field, & T. Schuller (Eds.), Social capital: Critical perspectives (pp. 197–211). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Matsuoka, Y., Nishi, D., Nakaya, N., Sone, T., Noguchi, H., & Hamazaki, K. (2012). Concern over radiation exposure and psychological distress among rescue workers following the Great East Japan Earthquake Concern over radiation exposure and distress. BMC Public Health, 12, 249–254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Mitchell, J. C. (1969). The concept and use of social networks. In J. C. Mitchell (Ed.), Social Networks in Urban Situations: Analyses of Personal Relationships in Central African Towns (pp. 51–76). Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill.Google Scholar
- Pietrzak, R. H., Van Ness, P. H., Fried, T. R., Galea, S., & Norris, F. H. (2013). Trajectories of posttraumatic stress symptomatology in older persons affected by a large-magnitude disaster. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 47(4), 520–526. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychires.2012.12.005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Putnam, R. D. (2001). Bowling alone: The collapse and revival of American community. New York: Simon and Schuster.Google Scholar
- Saigo, T., Nakajima, S., Ogawa, S., & Tayama, J. (2013). Post-traumatic stress symptoms of disaster medical assistance staff in the Great East Japan Earthquake: Relation to controllability for intrusion and post-traumatic stress symptoms (in Japanese). Behavioral Medicine Research, 19(1), 3–10.Google Scholar
- Shima, S., Shikano, T., Kitamura, T., & Asai, M. (1985). New self-rating scales for depression (In Japanese). Seishin Igaku, 27(6), 717–723.Google Scholar
- Weiss, D., & Marmar, C. (1997). The impact of the Event Scale-Revised. In J. J. P. Wilson & T. M. Keane (Eds.), Assessing psychological trauma and PTSD (pp. 399–411). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Wellman, B., Craven, P., Whitaker, M., Stevens, H., Shorter, A., DuToit, S., et al. (1973). Community ties and support systems: From intimacy to support. In: The form of cities in central Canada: Selected papers (pp. 152–167). Toronto, ON: University of Toronto Press.Google Scholar
- Yanagisawa, S., Baba, Y., Kusagawa, Y., Kawai, F., Kobayashi, F., Ito, C., et al. (2003). What does social support provision to friends mean for the elderly? (in Japanese). Journal of the Mie University of Nursing, 7, 1–11.Google Scholar
- Yutakajima, T., & Sato, S. (2014). Providing social support among older adults: A qualitative study (in Japanese). Behavioral Sciences of Life, Aging, Sickness and Death, 17–18, 65–78.Google Scholar