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ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 5-13

Closing the gap between disaster mental health research and practice: evidence for socio-ecological mental health interventions through multilevel research


1 PhD, Clinical Psychologist at Centrum 45 (the Netherlands) In this research, he collaborates with HealthNet TPO and Harvard School of Public Health, The Netherlands
2 PhD, is Psychologist and Professor at the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences of Collective Trauma, Utrecht University, the Netherlands and Director Research and Development at HealthNet TPO, The Netherlands

Correspondence Address:
Tim R Wind
Centrum 45, Diemen
The Netherlands
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.1097/WTF.0000000000000153

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Socio-ecological interventions assume that there are ‘links’ between the individual process that determines disaster mental health and the social context one lives in. However, there is insufficient empirical basis for this claim. This paper summarises the main findings from a research programme, in which two advanced statistical techniques on data from two floods were applied, respectively Uttar Pradesh, India 2008 and Morpeth, England, 2008. By means of multilevel structural equation modelling it was found that individual psychosocial resources (coping behaviour and social support) are employed more parsimoniously and effectively when disaster affected individuals can rely on a trustworthy and effective social community. Additionally, using multilevel confirmatory factor analyses to address screening outcomes yielded two methodological problems: nested variance due to the disaster context and poor construct validity. These can be illustrated, but not dismissed without applying advanced statistical analyses. The findings strongly suggest that community interventions promoting social context and individual interventions not only share the same objective, but also impact mental health via the same individual mechanisms.


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