Masters Thesis

Coping After a Natural Disaster: Relationships between Negative Mood Regulation Expectancies and Symptoms among Parents and Children in Fukushima, Japan

Since the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, the mental and physical health condition of people living in Fukushima under the threat of nuclear radiation has been a major concern. This uncontrollable situation is very stressful for them. However, few studies have investigated individual difference characteristics that may help people cope with stress. One such construct studied in the West is negative mood regulation expectancies (NMRE). NMRE represent one’s cross-situational belief that one has the ability to stop or moderate one’s unpleasant feelings. the current study addressed NMRE’s relationships with depression, anxiety, and somatic symptoms among 5th graders (N = 75) and their parents in Fukushima. the results showed that NMRE negatively correlated with all symptoms among both parents and children. Moreover, NMRE buffered the effect of parent symptoms on child symptoms. Children with high NMRE maintained a low level of symptoms even when their parents had a high level of symptoms. the results of the current study were consistent with what studies on NMRE demonstrated in the West, and the results also enhanced the validity of NMRE in Japan. Assessing NMRE has potential clinical applications for treating disaster survivors.

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