JDR Vol.16 No.7 pp. 1107-1120
doi: 10.20965/jdr.2021.p1107


Two Major Elements of Life Recovery After a Disaster: Their Impacts Dependent on Housing Damage and the Contributions of Psycho-Behavioral Factors

Shosuke Sato*, Ryo Ishibashi**, and Motoaki Sugiura*,**,†

*International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS), Tohoku University
468-1 Aza-Aoba, Aramaki, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi 980-8572, Japan

Corresponding author

**Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer (IDAC), Tohoku University, Miyagi, Japan

December 15, 2020
July 19, 2021
October 1, 2021
life recovery, power to live, housing recovery, well-being, the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

Clarification of the individual factors determining the speed and quality of life recovery after massive disasters is crucial in assessing the vulnerability and resilience of individuals and communities. The research, however, remains in its infancy in that the index of life recovery per se is yet to be established; researchers have utilized different sets of variables, and their importance seems to vary across recovery phases potentially reflecting the change in housing situation. In addition, previous research on promoting factors of life recovery has primarily focused on demographic factors and inadequately addressed the psychological and behavioral factors, which has large educational and cultural implications. In this study, to address these two issues, we analyzed the survey data of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami disaster. First, from the multiple questionnaire items relevant to the situations of life recovery, we extracted the major elements by factor analysis and investigated their relationship to subjective sense of life recovery. At this time, we compared the relationships obtained between victims who lost their housing and those who did not. Then, we examined the psycho-behavioral as well as demographic factors promoting these life-recovery elements. The factor analysis provides two recovery elements: Well-being (health and social connections) and Housing Recovery (integrity of residential environment). The main determinant of subjective sense of life recovery was the housing recovery element for victims who had lost their houses, while it was the well-being element for those who did not experience housing loss. Among the demographic factors, a robust effect of income on the housing recovery element was identified in both victim groups while the effect of age and household structures on the two elements varied between groups. We clarified that different psycho-behavioral factors promoted two life-recovery elements. Across groups, contribution of leadership to the housing recovery element and that of neuroticism (negative), emotional regulation, and active well-being to the well-being element were identified. The former finding is consistent with the importance of consensus building in housing reconstruction, and the latter may reflect the role of common psycho-behavioral capacity oriented to individuals’ well-being including social aspects. The two life-recovery elements and their promoting factors thus identified may provide a parsimonious macroscopic framework for the evaluation and promotion of life recovery from disasters, and have practical utility for an educational approach to strengthening community resilience.

Cite this article as:
S. Sato, R. Ishibashi, and M. Sugiura, “Two Major Elements of Life Recovery After a Disaster: Their Impacts Dependent on Housing Damage and the Contributions of Psycho-Behavioral Factors,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.16 No.7, pp. 1107-1120, 2021.
Data files:
  1. [1] Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, “Situation Summary of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake Disaster, No.160,” 29pp., 2020.
  2. [2] Special Committee of Risk Management and Disaster Control, National Governor’s Association, “Study report of victim’s life rebuilding support system,” 30pp., 2018.
  3. [3] Y. Karatani and T. Kondo, “Survivors’ Residential Movement and Decision-Making Process associated with Selfhelp Housing Reconstruction with Relocation after the Great East Japan Earthquake – Case Studies of Rikuzentakata City in Iwate Prefecture –,” J. of Social Safety Science, No.29, pp. 207-217, 2016.
  4. [4] Survey Team of Disaster Life Recovery in GEJE, “Report of the 2016 Tohoku Life Recovery Survey,” 151pp., 2018.
  5. [5] D. P. Aldrich, “Building Resilience: Social Capital in Post-Disaster Recovery,” The University of Chicago Press, 244pp., 2012.
  6. [6] D. P. Aldrich, “The power of people: social capital’s role in recovery from the 1995 Kobe earthquake,” Natural Hazards, Vol.56, pp. 595-611, doi: 10.1007/s11069-010-9577-7, 2011.
  7. [7] T. Aßheuer, I. Thiele-Eich, and B. Braun, “Coping with the impacts of severe flood events in Dhaka’s slums – The role of social capital,” Erdkunde, Vol.67, No.1, pp. 21-35, doi: 10.3112/erdkunde.2013.01.03, 2013.
  8. [8] F. H. Norris, S. P. Stevens, B. Pfefferbaum, K. F. Wyche, and R. L. Pfefferbaum, “Community Resilience as a Metaphor, Theory, Set of Capacities, and Strategy for Disaster Readiness,” Community Psycology, Vol.41, No.1-2, pp. 127-150, doi: 10.1007/s10464-007-9156-6, 2008.
  9. [9] S. L. Cutter, B. J. Boruff, and W. L. Shirley, “Social Vulnerability to Environmental Hazards,” Social Science Quarterly, Vol.84, No.2, pp. 242-261, doi: 10.1111/1540-6237.8402002, 2003.
  10. [10] D. Mustafa, S. Ahmed, E. Saroch, and H. Bell, “Pinning down vulnerability: from narratives to numbers,” Disasters, Vol.35, No.1, pp. 62-86, doi: 10.1111/j.1467-7717.2010.01193.x, 2010.
  11. [11] S. Rufat, E. Tate, C. G. Burton, and A. Sayeed Maroof, “Social vulnerability to floods: Review of case studies and implications for measurement,” Int. J. of Disaster Risk Reduction, Vol.14, pp. 470-486, doi: 10.1016/j.ijdrr.2015.09.013, 2015.
  12. [12] United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), “Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030,” 32pp., 2015, [accessed September 17, 2021]
  13. [13] M. Nakhaei, H. R. Khankeh, H. R. Khankeh, and F. Ghasemi, “Review Paper: Indicators of Life Recovery after Disasters and Emergencies,” Health in Emergencies & Disaster Quarterly, Vol.1, No.3, pp. 121-124, 2016.
  14. [14] S. Tatsuki, “Long-term life recovery processes among survivors of the 1995 Kobe earthquake: 1999, 2001, 2003, and 2005 life recovery social survey results,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.2, No.6, pp. 484-501, doi: 10.20965/jdr.2007.p0484, 2007.
  15. [15] S. Tatsuki and H. Hayashi, “Seven critical element model of life recovery: general linear model analyses of the 2001 Kobe Panel Survey Data,” Proc. of 2nd Workshop for Comparative Study Urban Earthquake Disaster Management, pp. 23-28, 2002.
  16. [16] D. M. Abramson, T. Stehling-Ariza, Y. S. Park, L. Walsh, and D. Culp, “Measuring individual disaster recovery: a socio-ecological framework,” Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, Vol.4, No.1, pp. 46-54, 2010.
  17. [17] Y. Horigome, K. Abe, and T. Chino, “Livelihood recovery process from the Great East Japan Earthquake in the tsunami-affected region using 2011 and 2013 cross-sectional data in Ofunato City,” J. of Policy Studies, Vol.17, No.1, pp. 21-39. 2015.
  18. [18] R. Kimura, K. Tomoyasu, Y. Yajima, H. Mashima, K. Furukawa, Y. Toda, K. Watanabe, and T. Kawahara “Current Status and Issues of Life Recovery Process Three Years After the Great East Japan Earthquake Questionnaire Based on Subjective Estimate of Victims Using Life Recovery Calendar Method,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.9, No.7, pp. 673-689, doi: 10.20965/jdr.2014.p0673, 2014.
  19. [19] S. Oishia, R. Kimura, H. Hayashi, S. Tatsuki, K. Tamura, K. Ishii, and J. Tucker, “Psychological adaptation to the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake of 1995: 16 years later victims still report lower levels of subjective well-being,” J. of Research in Personality, Vol.55, pp. 84-90, 2015.
  20. [20] R. Kimura, “Recovery and Reconstruction Calendar,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.2, No.6, pp. 465-474, doi: 10.20965/jdr.2007.p0465, 2007.
  21. [21] S. Tatsuki, H. Hayashi, K. Yamori, T. Noda, K. Tamura, and R. Kimura, “Model Building and Testing of Long-Term Life Recovery Processes of the Survivors of the 1995 Kobe earthquake - Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) of the 2003 Hyogo Prefecture Life Recovery Survey –,” J. of Social Safety Science, No.6, pp. 251-360, 2004.
  22. [22] K. Tamura, H. Hayashi, S. Tatsuki, and R. Kimura, “A Quantitative Verification of the Seven Elements Model of Socio-Econmic Recovery from the Kobe Earthquake,” J. of Social Safety Science, No.3, pp. 33-40, 2001.
  23. [23] Hyogo Prefecture, “Survey Report of Life Recovery in the 1995 Hanshin-Awaji Great Earthquake Disaster,” 212pp., 2005.
  24. [24] H. Rodriguez, T. Wachtendorf, J. Kendra, and J. Trainor, “A snapshot of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami: societal impacts and consequences,” Disaster Prevention and Management, Vol.15, No.1, pp. 163-177, doi: 10.1108/09653560610654310, 2006.
  25. [25] F. H. Norris, M. J. Friedman, P. J. Watson, C. M. Byrne, E. Diaz, and K. Kaniasty, “60,000 disaster victims speak: Part I. An empirical review of the empirical literature, 1981–2001,” Psychiatry: Interpersonal and Biological Processes, Vol.65, No3, pp. 207-239, doi: 10.1521/psyc., 2002.
  26. [26] S. Galea, A. Nandi, and D. Vlahov, “The epidemiology of post-traumatic stress disorder after disasters,” Epidemiologic Reviews, Vol.27, No.1, pp. 78-91. doi: 10.1093/epirev/mxi003, 2005.
  27. [27] M. Sugiura, S. Sato, R. Nouchi, A. Honda, T. Abe, T. Muramoto, and F. Imamura, “Eight personal characteristics associated with the power to live with disasters as indicated by survivors of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake disaster,” PLOS ONE, Vol.10, No7, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0130349, 2015.
  28. [28] M. Sugiura, S. Sato, R. Nouchi, A. Honda, R. Ishibashi, T. Abe, T. Muramoto, and F. Imamura, “Psychological processes and personality factors for an appropriate tsunami evacuation,” Geosciences, Vol.9, No.8, 326, pp. 11-19, doi: 10.3390/geosciences9080326, 2019.
  29. [29] M. Sugiura, R. Nouchi, A. Honda, S. Sato, T. Abe, and F. Imamura, “Survival-oriented personality factors are associated with various types of social support in an emergency disaster situation,” PLOS ONE, Vol.15, No2, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0228875, 2020.
  30. [30] A. Oshio, S. Abe, and P. Cutrone, “Nihongo-ban ten item personality inventory (TIPI-J) sakusei no kokoromi (Development, reliability and validity of the Japanese version of ten item personality inventory (TIPI-J)),” The Japanese J. of Personality, Vol.21, No.1, pp. 40-52. 2012 (in Japanese).
  31. [31] S. D. Gosling, P. J. Rentfrow, and W. B. Swann, Jr., “A very brief measure of the Big-Five personality domains,” J. of Research in Personality, Vol.37, pp. 504-528, 2003.
  32. [32] N. Beckmann, R. E. Wood, and A. Minbashian, “It depends how you look at it: On the relationship between neuroticism and conscientiousness at the within- and the between-person levels of analysis,” J. of Research in Personality, Vol.44, pp. 593-601, 2010.
  33. [33] M. K. Mount, M. R. Barrick, S. M. Scullen, and J. Rounds, “Higher-order dimensions of the big five personality traits and the big six vocational interest types,” Personnel Psychology, Vol.58, pp. 447-478, 2005.
  34. [34] W. Katsuda, “The Struggle and Challenge of People in Disaster-Affected Areas: From the Perspective of a Nonprofit Organization,” J. of Architecture in Japan, Vol.127, No.1639, pp. 18-19, 2012.
  35. [35] S. Kitamura, J. Hirota, and C. Wakana, “Activity and Outcomes of the Residents’ Reconstruction Organization in a Tsunami Affected Community – Three years’ experience of SAKIHAMA, Ofunato City, Iwate Prefecture after the Great East Japan Earthquake –,” J. of Rural Planning Association, No.33, pp. 203-208, 2014.
  36. [36] A. Bandura, “Self-efficacy mechanism in human agency,” American Psychologist, Vol.37, No.2, pp. 122-147, 1982.
  37. [37] A. Matsukawa, S. Sato, and S. Tatsuki, “The study of the effect of choise of temporary housing to the housing recovery; based on two years data of Natori city survey data 2014 and 2015,” J. of Social Safety Science, Vol.30, pp. 149-159, 2017.
  38. [38] S. Sato, M. Sugiura, T. Muramoto, and F. Imamura, “Practice and Case Study of “Education of Disaster Recovery” Classes at Universities in Affected Areas – Focus on Post-Change of Students –,” J. of Disaster Recovery and Revitalization, No.11, pp. 1-7, 2017 (in Japanese).

*This site is desgined based on HTML5 and CSS3 for modern browsers, e.g. Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera.

Last updated on Apr. 22, 2024