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November 8, 2023

SCARP Speaker Series: Community social capital and post-disaster mental health


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The SCARP Speaker Series

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Students, faculty, alumni, planners, and friends near and far are all welcome! 

Next up, we gladly introduce our next guest speaker: 

Dr. Ethan Raker, of UBC's Department of Sociology, presents:

Community social capital and post-disaster mental health: the effect of networks on mental health and resource accessibility

Community-level social capital (our networks and relationships and what they afford us) has been theorized to shape population health, particularly in times of need. 

Pairing zip-code-level data on social capital from the Opportunity Atlas with survey data from the Health of Houston Survey, this talk examines how local social capital moderated the mental-health consequences of housing damage after Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas. 

After ensuring no pre-disaster differences in mental health across local levels of social capital, results from models using inverse probability of treatment weights and region fixed effects reveal that local levels of civic engagement and connectedness partially offset the adverse consequences of home damage for psychological distress and poor mental health. 

Among those with home damage, local social capital correlated positively with the probability of receiving disaster assistance. However, disaster assistance was not associated with mental health outcomes. 

Dr. Raker will conclude by discussing the broader implications for research on social capital, crises, and mental well-being.

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About Ethan Raker

Ethan J. Raker is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of British Columbia working in the areas of social stratification, medical sociology, and environmental sociology. His scholarship brings together various sources of novel data to examine the relationship between climate change and inequalities in human health and community well-being. He holds a Ph.D. in sociology from Harvard University.

Event format

  • Each event will be open to the public. 
  • Light refreshments will be served. 
  • Speaker will present for 30 minutes, each followed by 15 minutes of Q&A and then an open session of networking and chat. 
  • While these events are exclusively in-person, presentations will be recorded and available online for those who can't attend personally.

When you RSVP, let us know what ideas you have for future talks! 

Date + Time
Wed, November 8, 2023
1:00pm - 2:30pm

In Person Event
Point Grey Campus, West Mall Annex

WMAX 110
1933 West Mall, Room 110
Vancouver BC

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