Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Dennis, Cory


The purpose of the study was to examine the impact of a natural disaster on the mental health of a rural Maya community in the Philippines. Specifically, the study assessed how an individual’s housing conditions, the household size, and general utilities can have an impact on a person’s mental health.

The study used a quantitative survey design with self-administered questionnaires. Center for Disease Control and Prevention Modified Community Assessment survey was used for this research investigation. A total of 84 participants completed the survey. Participants were asked of their perceptions regarding the habitability of their own homes, the safety of their homes, whether there was mold or water damage, the size of the household, whether the household was harboring guest and the presence of general utilities such as: running water, electricity, garbage pickup, natural gas, sewage service, and cell. Descriptive (e.g. mean and frequency,), chi-squares tests, and t-test were used to analyze the data.

Findings of the study showed that there was a relationship between safety of the home, the presence of mold, water damage, and running water and whether one develops symptoms of anxiety/stress. The study also found a relationship amongst garbage pickup, sewage service and whether one develops symptoms of agitated behavior. Findings of the study suggest a need for advocacy to implement mental health programs as a relief effort to disaster victims.