Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 49, Issue 6, pp 847–856 | Cite as

A Cross-Sectional Study on Risk Factors of Depression Severity Among Survivors of the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake

Original Paper


To examine depression severity and associated risk factors 1 year later among survivors of the May 12, 2008 Wenchuan earthquake in China, a cross-sectional study was conducted. Subjects included 704 survivors, ages 18–64, 367 (52.1 %) of whom were from heavily damaged counties and the rest from moderately damaged ones. Subjects were interviewed for socio-demographic variables, exposure level, and administered standardized scales for depression, anxiety, resilience, and social support. 23.0 % (N = 162) and 13.8 % (N = 97) of all subjects had moderate and severe depression, respectively, with depression severity being higher in severely damaged counties compared to moderately damaged ones (18.2 vs 8.9 %). Multiple regression analysis indicated that depression severity varied with gender, age, education level, exposure level, income, housing status, and social support. The association between income level and symptoms of depression were partially mediated by social support (ratio of mediation effects: 41.9 and 22.3 % for heavily and moderately damaged counties, respectively). The data support the need for early mental health intervention and provision of social support in this vulnerable population.


Wenchuan earthquake Depression Cross-sectional Risk factors Social support as mediator 



The authors are very grateful to the anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments and suggestions. We would like to thank all of the interviewees who showed great patience in answering the questionnaires. This research was supported by the research funding of Sichuan University (Grant No. SKG2013001) and the Major Bidding Program of the National Social Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 08&ZD009) and also partially sponsored by the project of the Investigation Propaganda Department of China Association for Science and Technology (Grant No. 2009DCYJ12) and by the “985” Program of Sichuan University “Innovative Research Base for Economic Development and Management”.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Uncertainty Decision-Making LaboratorySichuan UniversityChengduPeople’s Republic of China

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