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Family context of mental health risk in Tsunami affected mothers: Findings from a pilot study in Sri Lanka


  • Wickrama, K.A.S.
  • Wickrama, K.A. Thulitha


This study investigated direct and indirect influences of Tsunami exposure on mothers' PTSD and depressive symptoms using survey data from 325 Tsunami-affected families living in two villages in southern Sri Lanka. Findings generally support the hypothesized model in that life and property destruction contributed to the PTSD and depressive symptoms of mothers. Detrimental influences of Tsunami exposure also operated through the generation of more proximal secondary Tsunami risks such as post-Tsunami family problems. In addition, religious participation, familism, number of children, intact family status, and community support reduced mothers' depressive symptoms. Finally, intact family status and high religious participation moderated the detrimental influence of Tsunami exposure on mothers' PTSD symptoms. These findings can contribute directly to improving ongoing recovery and reconstruction programs and help to formulate future programs for families affected by the Tsunami and other natural disasters.

Suggested Citation

  • Wickrama, K.A.S. & Wickrama, K.A. Thulitha, 2008. "Family context of mental health risk in Tsunami affected mothers: Findings from a pilot study in Sri Lanka," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(4), pages 994-1007, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:66:y:2008:i:4:p:994-1007

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Wickrama, K.A.S. & Kaspar, Violet, 2007. "Family context of mental health risk in Tsunami-exposed adolescents: Findings from a pilot study in Sri Lanka," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 713-723, February.
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