The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between flood exposure and levels of social trust among a cohort of adult men from refugee backgrounds who were affected by the 2011 floods in Queensland, Australia.
A quantitative questionnaire was administered to 141 men from refugee backgrounds almost two years after the 2011 Queensland floods. The survey was administered in-person by trained peer interviewers, and included a number of standardized instruments assessing respondents’ socio-demographic characteristics, levels of social trust toward and from neighbors, the police, the wider Australian community and the media and exposure to and impact of the floods. Multiple logistic regression analyses were used to assess the relationship between flood exposure and social trust adjusting for pre-disaster levels of trust and other potentially confounding variables.
Participants with higher levels of flood exposure were significantly more likely to report greater levels of trust both toward and from their neighbors, the wider Australian community and the media, and they were also more likely to believe that most people can be trusted.
Although the study reports on data collected two years after the floods, the analysis has adjusted for pre-disaster measures of social trust and other socio-demographic variables.
This paper has highlighted the important place of social trust and social capital for refugee communities in a post-disaster setting. Disaster responses that support social capital among marginalized populations are critical to increasing community resilience and supporting recovery.
This research has been funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC Project Grant 1027856) and the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF). The authors acknowledge the contribution of our co-investigator Professor Sandy Gifford, our research participants and the research team: Sabah Al Ansari, Elijah Buol, Saw Patrick Maw, Vivien Nsanabo, Gerald Onsando, Wilson Oyat, Suan Muan Thang and Moses Tongun.
Correa-Velez, I., McMichael, C. and Conteh, A. (2014), "Levels of social trust among men from refugee backgrounds after the 2011 Queensland floods", International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, Vol. 5 No. 3, pp. 318-328. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJDRBE-01-2014-0011Download as .RIS
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