Inequality, Social Support and Post Disaster Mental Health in Mexico

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Sat N. Gupta, Professor (Creator)
Arthur D. Murphy, Professor and Department Head (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: Disasters highlight the vulnerability of people who have limited access to resources. However, based on research from Mexico, we seek-in the context of disasters-to qualify the generalization that mental health is associated with social inequality and individual socioeconomic status. We collected data on socioeconomic status, social support, and depression in two storm-impacted cities (n=581) and four control cities (n=2,509) in Mexico. Two years after the storms, depression symptomology remained higher for disaster cities than for the control. Social support returned to better than normal levels in one impacted city, Villahermosa, during that period, but not in the other, Teziutlán-the harder hit city. Socioeconomic status appeared to have a small effect on depression, although co-correlation with perceived support suggests that social support is a stronger and more proximate cause, such that socioeconomic status-in addition to having a minor direct affect-may also work indirectly through availability of social support to affect vulnerability.

Additional Information

Human Organization: Journal of Society for Applied Anthropology, 70(1), 33-43
Language: English
Date: 2011
recovery, Latin America, depression, hurricane, class

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