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Mental health recovery and economic recovery after the tsunami: High-frequency longitudinal evidence from Sri Lankan small business owners

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  • de Mel, Suresh
  • McKenzie, David
  • Woodruff, Christopher

Abstract

A sample of 561 Sri Lanka microenterprise owners affected to various extents by the December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami were surveyed five times at quarterly intervals between March 2005 and April 2006. Mental health recovery was measured through questions on return to normalcy and change in life outlook. Business profits were used to measure livelihoods recovery. We find that these mental health process measures are correlated with post-traumatic stress disorder and general mental health in a validation survey, and display similar correlates to both in the cross-section. However, socioeconomic factors are not found to be significant in predicting the dynamics of mental health recovery in a fixed effects logistic regression. Mental health recovery from a given initial level therefore appears to depend largely on time since the disaster, and not on economic recovery of an individual's livelihood.

Suggested Citation

  • de Mel, Suresh & McKenzie, David & Woodruff, Christopher, 2008. "Mental health recovery and economic recovery after the tsunami: High-frequency longitudinal evidence from Sri Lankan small business owners," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(3), pages 582-595, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:66:y:2008:i:3:p:582-595
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Batniji, Rajaie & Van Ommeren, Mark & Saraceno, Benedetto, 2006. "Mental and social health in disasters: Relating qualitative social science research and the Sphere standard," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(8), pages 1853-1864, April.
    2. Das, Jishnu & Do, Quy-Toan & Friedman, Jed & McKenzie, David & Scott, Kinnon, 2007. "Mental health and poverty in developing countries: Revisiting the relationship," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 467-480, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jishnu Das & Quy-Toan Do & Jed Friedman & David McKenzie, 2008. "Mental Health Patterns and Consequences: Results from Survey Data in Five Developing Countries," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 23(1), pages 31-55, August.
    2. Bratti, Massimiliano & Mendola, Mariapia & Miranda, Alfonso, 2015. "Hard to Forget: The Long-Lasting Impact of War on Mental Health," IZA Discussion Papers 9269, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. de Mel, Suresh & McKenzie, David J. & Woodruff, Christopher, 2009. "Measuring microenterprise profits: Must we ask how the sausage is made?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 19-31, January.
    4. Baez, Javier E. & de la Fuente, Alejandro & Santos, Indhira, 2010. "Do Natural Disasters Affect Human Capital? An Assessment Based on Existing Empirical Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 5164, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Dinuk Jayasuriya, 2014. "Influence of Posttraumatic Growth on Mental Health and Well-being Across Respondents Severely Affected by War in Post-conflict Sri Lanka," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 119(1), pages 265-280, October.

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