Identifying and understanding family resilience to disaster in China

Author: Huahua Yin

Yin, Huahua, 2017 Identifying and understanding family resilience to disaster in China, Flinders University, School of Nursing & Midwifery

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Disasters occur worldwide resulting in substantial human, social, economic and environmental losses. Building the resilience of nations and communities to disasters is regarded as a critical international strategy for disaster risk reduction. China is a large country spanning varied geographic-regions with a large population experiencing disasters annually. The Chinese Government National Comprehensive Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Twelfth Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) placed strong emphasis on building the capabilities of the community in disaster reduction, as well as improving public literacy on disaster prevention and mitigation.

The family provides an important connection between community and individuals. Therefore, improving family disaster resilience will positively influence the entire community’s disaster resilience. However, there is a dearth of knowledge regarding the nature and development of family disaster resilience, with most literature focusing on the community and individuals.

The aim of this project is to identify and understand significant factors of family disaster resilience and develop a family disaster resilience model to explain how these factors interact with each other and help families deal with disaster in the Chinese socio-cultural context. This research project is guided by grounded theory methodology. Data was collected via in-depth interviews with families that had experienced flooding in a district in Chongqing city, south-west China during 2013 in China. Initial coding, focused coding and theoretical coding and simultaneous memo writing were employed to analyse interview data. Five family disaster resilience factors were identified including “Having social resources and connections”, “Having family inner resources”, “Communicating”, “Solving problems” and “Easing minds”, and a model entitled “Acting and easing: the process of family disaster resilience” has been developed.

This model provides deeper insights into family resilience in the disaster situation and Chinese socio-cultural context. It contributes to the evolution of the family resilience concept, informs the direction of future research regarding family resilience in the disaster context, and provides evidence for disaster management policy makers and health professionals to develop intervention strategies for building family disaster resilience, and strengthening community disaster resilience within China and globally.

Keywords: family resilience, disaster

Subject: Nursing thesis, Midwifery thesis

Thesis type: Doctor of Philosophy
Completed: 2017
School: School of Nursing & Midwifery
Supervisor: Paul Arbon