Published online by Cambridge University Press: 17 January 2017
We aimed to clarify the correlation between the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and pregnant women’s awareness of social capital 3 to 9 months after the tsunami disaster.
We analyzed data on responses to a questionnaire by 7451 pregnant women in their second to third trimesters. The proportions of social capital–related items were calculated in the north and south coastal areas of Miyagi Prefecture and were compared with national samples. The factors associated with social capital were estimated by use of multivariate logistic regression analyses.
The proportion of women feeling that they had helpful neighbors was higher (69.0% vs 56.7%, P=0.0005), the proportion of women regarding their communities as safe and secure was lower (51.7% vs 62.4%, P=0.002), and the proportion of women feeling that most people were trustworthy was lower (23.7% vs 32.9%, P=0.006) in the north coastal area than nationwide. Such differences were not observed in the less severely affected south coastal area. Age of 35 years or older, extended family, college or university graduation, and being multiparous were associated with the feeling of having helpful neighbors.
The current status of pregnant women’s awareness of social capital in disaster-affected areas was revealed. Continuous monitoring and support may be necessary to address this issue.(Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;11:355–364)