Title

The interaction of depression, anxiety and social support in predicting long-term distress in victims of Hurricane Andrew

Date of Award

1997

Availability

Article

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Department

Psychology

First Committee Member

Gail Ironson, Committee Chair

Abstract

One hundred and eighty subjects from areas severely impacted by the storm were studied an average of three months after Hurricane Andrew. Follow-up questionnaires from 132 and 126 respondents, respectively, were obtained approximately 12 and 24 months later. The sample ranged in age from 18 to 81 years of age and was ethnically diverse.Analysis explored the relationship between the hurricane experience and measures of affect (anxiety and depression) and of social support (perceived social support and perceived loss of social support) both cross-sectionally and longitudinally.Overall, anxiety and depression appear to mediate the relationship between the hurricane experience and perceived social support. Immediately after the storm, anxiety mediates the relationship between the hurricane experience and perceived loss of social support. A year later perceived loss of social support mediates the relationship between the hurricane experience and anxiety and depression. Throughout recovery, both anxiety and depression mediate the relationship between the hurricane experience and both distress and PTSD.This adds to the literature on the buffering effect of social support. Following a major stressor, it is also important to intervene to alleviate anxiety and depression in order to increase perception of social support, decrease perception of loss of social support, and thus facilitate recovery and buffer the impact of the stressor.

Keywords

Psychology, Clinical

Link to Full Text

http://access.library.miami.edu/login?url=http://gateway.proquest.com/openurl?url_ver=Z39.88-2004&rft_val_fmt=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:dissertation&res_dat=xri:pqdiss&rft_dat=xri:pqdiss:9824542