Research

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My research focusses on the factors affecting mental health outcomes in emergencies and disasters. I am particularly interested in social support and interpersonal relationships. Social support refers to behaviours and social interactions that provide actual assistance and embed people in a web of social relationships that are readily available and are perceived to be loving and caring (Hobfoll & Stokes, 1988). It is one of the most reliable factors associated with positive psychological outcomes in the aftermath of disasters. While this umbrella construct is multifaceted, may studies focus on perceived social support (i.e., perception of support quality and availability) and tend to neglect the other facets, particularly received social support (i.e., the receipt of actual support). My research interest revolves around the influence of receiving actual support (not just the perception of support)–and the different factors influencing the strength and direction of its effects–on post-disaster psychological outcomes. I am also particularly interested in the mental health of emergency and disaster responders.