International Journal of Group Tensions

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 175–186 | Cite as

A Cross-Cultural Study of the Psychosocial and Spiritual Impact of Natural Disaster

  • Anie Kalayjian
  • Rania Lee Kanazi
  • Christopher L. Aberson
  • Lena Feygin


We report a cross-cultural comparison of coping with natural disaster involving two populations—survivors from the 1999 earthquake in Turkey and from the 1994 Northridge earthquake in California. The research project was explorative in design and included 222 people—123 individuals from Turkey and 99 from California. A main focus of the study was how age, gender, marital status, and cultural differences impact on levels of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Concomitantly, the association of many other variables was explored including cultural education, presence and degree of loss, extent of damage to one's home, whether individuals did or did not receive assistance, etc., and how these impacted their coping. Statistical analysis revealed strong associations between PTSD and age for both studies. It was found that the highest level of PTSD in the California sample occurred among individuals at least 60 years old. In the Turkey sample, those in their fifties showed the highest level of PTSD. The article highlights similarities and differences between the post-earthquake coping responses in California and Turkey and concludes by discussing forms of assistance to earthquake victims.

posttraumatic stress syndrome earthquake Turkey California 


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anie Kalayjian
    • 1
  • Rania Lee Kanazi
    • 1
  • Christopher L. Aberson
    • 1
  • Lena Feygin
    • 1
  1. 1.Fordham UniversityUSA

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