A Dual Route in Explaining Health Outcomes in Natural Disaster


  • 1The first author thanks his supervisors, Céline M. Blanchard and Luc G. Pelletier, whose expertise, guidance, and support contributed greatly to the project. In addition, special thanks are extended to Frederick M. E. Grouzet, Danielle Patry, and Catherine Amiot for their commitment and input regarding the statistical analyses. The first author also thanks the members of the University of Ottawa's Human Motivation Laboratory for their various contributions to the overall study.


Human beings seem to be resilient and have a great capacity to overcome adverse circumstances. One apparent variable that may predict people's emotional and physical health after a trauma is their general level of psychological well-being (McMillen, Smith, & Fisher, 1997). The current study explores the role of subjective vitality and the perception of stress as mediators between general life satisfaction and post-trauma physiological and psychological health related to the Canadian 1998 Ice Storm. Results of this dual route indicate that satisfaction with life positively predicted subjective vitality and negatively predicted perceived stress. In turn, subjective vitality lead to lower levels of ill-health, whereas perception of stress lead to higher levels of physical symptoms and depression.