Residential Ambiguity and Relocation Decisions: Population and Areas at Risk

March 1996 (VOL. 14, NO. 1)

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Residential relocation is one means of coping with living in a perceived high risk area. An analysis of a sample of household members who live in such an area showed the extent to which fear of a recurring emergency event affects attitudes toward seeking an alternative safer area to reside. Intent to relocate is linked to specific sub-groups of families on the basis of how they comprehend the risks of remaining (educational level) and extent of possible economic damage (level of assets). A series of independent variables reflecting affective-emotive behavior during the disaster. Post-crisis trauma related attitudes and pre/post disaster neighborhood bonds were likewise linked with an intention to move to a safer neighborhood. A regression model focused the analysis on the degree to which concern of psychological damage to children played a decisive role in determining a relocation decision.