Postdisaster recovery and resilience: The mediating influences of mental health and environmental quality of life
The Gulf Coast represents a vibrant marine-based economic hub for the United States, yet the location also exposes residents to both natural and technological disasters. These unavoidable environmental stressors impact life on many levels, particularly affecting residents' mental health; however, the resilience of the community members remains high (Goldstein, Osofsky, & Lichtveld, 2011; Osofsky, Osofsky, & Hansel, 2011). The resilience and the strengths individuals bring to the recovery process are an important area of research of postdisaster recovery. This study explored environmental quality of life as a mediator among disaster exposure, mental health, and resilience using structural equation modeling techniques. Results showed that disaster experiences were an important contributor to not only one's postdisaster mental health but also one's perceived environmental quality of life and resilience. Further, environmental quality of life may explain how disaster experiences impact mental health and resilience. The findings of this study can assist with utilizing strengths, such as environmental activism, that can improve community response and resilience activation.
Hansel, Tonya; Osofsky, Howard; Speier, Anthony; and Osofsky, Joy, "Postdisaster recovery and resilience: The mediating influences of mental health and environmental quality of life" (2020). School of Medicine Faculty Publications. 1955.