2019 Volume 6 Issue 1 Pages 15-24
Aim: The eruption of Mount Merapi in Indonesia caused losses, stress, and psychological distress for relocated survivors. Meaning in life is reported to be associated with mental health. This study aimed to investigate the associations among loss, stress related to changes in daily life, meaning in life, and mental health of the relocated survivors.
Methods: A cross-sectional study using convenience sampling was conducted in two relocation areas with people from the most damaged villages. Losses, stress related to changes in daily life, mental health, and meaning in life were assessed using the losses questionnaire, the stress related to changes in daily life questionnaire, the Self-Reporting Questionnaire (SRQ-20) and the Life Attitude Profile-Revised Questionnaire (LAP-R). The Mann–Whitney U-test, Kruskal–Wallis test, Spearman’s rank test and hierarchical multiple regression were performed for data analysis.
Results: Respondents included 172 women and 24 men (mean age = 40.0 years). Nearly one-third of respondents scored seven or more in the SRQ-20, suggesting possible mental health problems. Meaning in life was negatively correlated with stress related to changes in daily life (rs= −0.281, p < 0.001) and mental health problems (rs= −0.259, p < 0.01). However, meaning in life did not significantly contribute to mental health problems after adjusting for loss and stress related to changes in daily life (β = −0.092, p = 0.190).
Conclusions: Meaning in life is negatively correlated with mental health problems and stress related to changes in daily life. Support to help the survivors find meaning in life may alleviate psychological distress related to relocation stress.