Community social capital and individual functioning in the post-disaster context

Renee Zahnow*, Rebecca Wickes, Mel Taylor, Jonathan Corcoran

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    24 Citations (Scopus)


    Disasters can have severe and long-lasting consequences for individuals and communities. While scholarly evidence indicates that access to social support can ameliorate their negative impacts, less understood is whether or not neighbourhood social capital can facilitate recovery. This study uses two waves of survey data—collected before and after a significant flood in Brisbane, Australia, in 2011—to examine the relationship between the severity of the event at the individual and neighbourhood level, access to neighbourhood social capital and individual-level social support, and functioning in the post-disaster environment. In line with previous research, the results indicate that the severity of the flood is the most salient predictor of post-disaster functioning. No evidence was unearthed to show that neighbourhood social capital amassed before the flood leads to better functioning subsequently, but the findings do suggest that individual-level social support can moderate the effect of flood severity on functioning.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)261-288
    Number of pages28
    Issue number2
    Early online date15 Nov 2018
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019


    • disaster
    • functioning
    • social capital
    • social support


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