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Abstract

Four and seven weeks after powerful earthquakes in El Salvador, the authors examined the relationships among demographics, traumatic event exposure, social support, resource loss, acute stress disorder (ASD) symptoms, depression, and posttraumatic growth. Participants were 253 college students (Study 1) and 83 people in the community (Study 2). In Study 1, female gender, traumatic event exposure, low social support, and loss of personal characteristic, condition, and energy resources contributed to ASD symptoms and depression. In Study 2, damage to home and loss of personal characteristic and object resources contributed to ASD symptoms and depression. Posttraumatic growth was not associated with ASD symptoms or depression. Findings support the conservation of resources stress theory (Hobfoll, 1998). Resource loss spirals, excessive demands on coping, and exposure to multiple disasters are discussed.