Aim: This cross-sectional study aims to explore the relationship between different types and sources of social support and psychological distress by age and sex among survivors living in temporary housing 10 months after the Great East Japan Earthquake. Methods: Self-reported questionnaires/structured interviews administered from January to March 2012 recorded demographic characteristics, damage involving participants' families, social support, and psychological distress. Results: Data on 296 participants aged 20 years or more from nine temporary housing complexes in Otsuchi were analyzed; K6 scores indicating psychological distress averaged 5.1 (standard deviation, 5.9; range, 0-24). Multiple logistic regression analyses indicated differences among types and sources of social support with regard to psychological distress by age and sex among disaster survivors. For men aged less than 65 years, social support by family was related to lower psychological distress. For women aged 65 years or more, emotional support from family, informational and instrumental support, and social companionship from friends in their own temporary housing complexes were related to less psychological distress. Conclusion: Differences in age and sex were related to different sources of social support in relation to psychological distress. It is necessary to pay more attention to those who lost family members in the disaster, especially men aged less than 65 years. It may also be necessary to support survivors in making friends when they relocate to temporary housing, especially women aged 65 years or more.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Research and Theory