'Good copers' needed for study

20:23, Nov 16 2012

Christchurch researchers are seeking volunteers to help them understand more about how people cope with difficult experiences, such as the Canterbury earthquakes.

In a joint project between the University of Otago, Christchurch, and the University of Canterbury researchers would look at how those who had experienced loss or hardship in the quakes managed to cope.

Clinical psychologist Virginia McIntosh said the researchers aimed to assess about 100 volunteers aged between 18 and 65 over summer.

Participants needed to be people who felt they were coping well, despite witnessing the effects of the quakes, such as being in the central city when the February 2011 quake hit, or facing difficulties related to the disaster, such as losing their home or job, or experiencing the loss or injury of family or friends.

McIntosh, who was part of the Canterbury District Health Board's quake treatment team, which worked with those struggling to cope with the quakes, said there were many people who "do very well" during stressful situations.

"We want to understand what things are useful as coping strategies . . . building psychological resilience."

To take part in the project, call Alex Loughlin on 372 0400 or email alex.loughlin@canterbury.ac.nz.


The Press