Sense of community and depressive symptoms among older earthquake survivors following the 2008 earthquake in Chengdu China

Yawen Li, Fei Sun, Xusong He, Kin Sun Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations


This study examined the impact of an earthquake as well as the role of sense of community as a protective factor against depressive symptoms among older Chinese adults who survived an 8.0 magnitude earthquake in 2008. A household survey of a random sample was conducted 3 months after the earthquake and 298 older earthquake survivors participated in it. The results showed that earthquake-associated distress had a direct effect on depression controlling for coping, informal support, and sense of community. The results also showed that the effect of earthquake-associated distress is contingent upon the level of sense of community. The findings highlighted the role of individuals' sense of community as a protective factor against traumatic experiences and suggested that attempts to build trust and form a sense of belonging to the new community among older earthquake survivors would help them reduce distress and facilitate a smooth recovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)776-785
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Community Psychology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

Cite this