Correlating Post-disaster Support Network Density with Reciprocal Support Relation Satisfaction: An Elderly Cohort Within One Year of the 2011 Japan Disasters
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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.
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