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Keywords:

  • earthquake;
  • relocation;
  • PTSD;
  • depression;
  • traumatic stress;
  • disaster

Objective:  Relocations after disasters are known to cause added distress in survivors. This study examined the effects of migration and other factors on psychological status of survivors 4 years after the two severe earthquakes in Turkey.

Method:  Five hundred and twenty-six adult survivors of the 1999 earthquakes currently living in Ankara were given self-report measures assessing traumatic stress, depression, earthquake experience and social support.

Results:  The rates of current post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression were 25% and 11%, respectively. Although both traumatic stress and depression factors were predicted by some demographic and trauma severity variables, relocation status predicted depression but not traumatic stress.

Conclusion:  The rates of psychological distress were higher than expected in a city considered to be safe in terms of earthquake risk. Relocation after the disaster may increase psychological distress by disrupting the social network.