Skip to main content
Indian Ocean Tsunami: Relationships Among Posttraumatic Stress, Posttraumatic Growth, Resource Loss, and Coping at 3 and 15 Months
Journal of Trauma & Dissociation (2014)
  • David N. Sattler, Western Washington University
  • Sawitri Assanangkornchai
  • Adam M. Moller
  • Wiworn Kesavatana-Dohrs
  • James M. Graham
This study examines variables associated with posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTS) and posttraumatic growth among 2 independent samples of survivors following the Indian Ocean tsunami in Khao Lak, Thailand. Participants were exposed to unprecedented horror and loss of life and property. At 3 months participants (N = 248) were living in temporary shelters, and at 15 months a second sample (N = 255) was living in homes built after the tsunami. Prior traumatic experiences, life threat, loss of personal characteristic resources and condition resources, somatic problems, and social support accounted for close to half of the variance in PTS in each sample. At 3 months, emotion-focused coping and concerns about government favoritism also contributed to PTS. At 15 months, lack of prior disaster experience and loss of energy resources also contributed to PTS. Distress was higher among participants surveyed at 3 months than among those surveyed at 15 months. Posttraumatic growth was positively associated with social support and problem-focused coping in both samples. The findings support conservation of resources stress theory (Hobfoll, 2012Hobfoll, S. E.2012. Conservation of resources and disaster in cultural context: The caravans and passageways for resources. Psychiatry, 73: 227–233.  [Google Scholar]) and underscore how systemic issues affect mental health. The implications of the findings are discussed, as is the educational International Tsunami Museum designed by the first author to address systemic stressors.
  • Posttraumatic stress,
  • Resource loss,
  • Conservation of resources,
  • Posttraumatic growth,
  • Tsunami,
  • Disaster,
  • Systemic stressor,
  • Tsunami museum
Publication Date
January, 2014
Publisher Statement
Taylor & Francis Online
Citation Information
David N. Sattler, Sawitri Assanangkornchai, Adam M. Moller, Wiworn Kesavatana-Dohrs, et al.. "Indian Ocean Tsunami: Relationships Among Posttraumatic Stress, Posttraumatic Growth, Resource Loss, and Coping at 3 and 15 Months" Journal of Trauma & Dissociation Vol. 15 Iss. 2 (2014) p. 219 - 239
Available at: