Maureen Mooney

Doctor of Philosophy
Study Completed: 2016
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
Getting through: Children and youth post-disaster effective coping and adaption in the context of the Canterbury earthquakes of 2010-2012

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Children are distressed by disasters yet the majority eventually have adaptive outcomes. However, our understanding of how children respond and adapt effectively to disasters is incomplete. Ms Mooney aimed to understand how children cope effectively with disaster, and to identify resources and processes that promote children's effective coping and adaptation. Five, nine and fifteen year-olds, as well as parents, teachers, and principals of five Christchurch schools were interviewed. Children and caregivers from two schools in Wellington served as a comparison group. Several Christchurch children were re-interviewed three years after the initial earthquake to understand how coping may evolve. Multiple inter-connected coping strategies and resources in the children, and in their immediate contexts of family and community were identified that were fundamental to their post-disaster adaptation. Children adapting effectively used diverse coping strategies in a culturally appropriate and flexible manner. Key recommendations were made for effective interventions for children and caregivers.

Associate Professor Sarb Johal
Professor Douglas Paton
Dr Ruth Tarrant
Professor David Johnston