Detecting ‘Ripple Effects' Of The Canterbury Earthquakes In a National Longitudinal Study Of Aging

Saturday, July 19, 2014: 12:30 PM
Room: F205
Oral Presentation
Sally KEELING , Medicine, University of Otago, Christchurch, Christchurch, New Zealand
Fiona ALPASS , Psychology, Massey University, New Zealand
Christine STEPHENS , Massey University, New Zealand
Brendan STEVENSON , Dept of Psychology, Massey University, New Zealand
The timing of the 2010 and 2012 surveys  conducted by the New Zealand Longitudinal Study of Aging provides a clear “before and after” dimension to the exploration of the impacts of the Canterbury earthquakes, on the study population of older people. Our data shows some effects (after controlling for baseline differences) on measures of living standards, as well as on physical and mental health, according to location, and degrees of recorded direct and indirect exposure to  the Canterbury earthquakes. In particular, the aspects of control and self-realisation within the quality of life measure show different trends based on location and exposure to earthquake effects.  Other psychosocial measures of loneliness and depression also show regional differences.  These differences are not unidirectional or consistently negative, to the extent that some exposure suggests positive outcomes on some measures.   The relevance and value of these findings in terms of policy will be further enhanced by our future ability to continue to track such effects over the longer term, in light of the scale and duration of the Canterbury recovery process, and of other emerging  phases of this country’s exposure to a potentially hazardous seismic environment.