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A research-based primer on the potential psychosocial impacts of flooding

Sarb Johal (Department of Psychology, Massey University, Joint Centre for Disaster Research, Wellington, New Zealand)
Zoe Mounsey (Department of Psychology, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand)

Disaster Prevention and Management

ISSN: 0965-3562

Article publication date: 1 February 2016




Following recent flooding in New Zealand a brief review of research on psychosocial impacts of flooding was undertaken to identify lessons. The paper aims to discuss this issue.


A pragmatic review of the literature concerning psychosocial or mental health impact following flooding incidents in locations with similarities to New Zealand identified. In total, 12 papers from between 2008 and 2015 were reviewed to identify lessons for New Zealand.


The review findings illustrate how floods can have great impacts on people’s psychosocial needs and mental health. The extended timeframe and disruptive nature of the impacts of flooding are such that the effects of secondary stressors are highly significant as they prolong the welfare, physical and psychosocial needs of those affected.


This brief review provides important insights into the psychosocial impacts of flooding by examining research from similar areas to New Zealand.



Johal, S. and Mounsey, Z. (2016), "A research-based primer on the potential psychosocial impacts of flooding", Disaster Prevention and Management, Vol. 25 No. 1, pp. 104-110.



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