The youth in less developed countries are more likely to be affected by an earthquake. However, no data on predictors of stress symptoms among college students after an earthquake in less developed countries was available. This study aims to compare the posttraumatic stress symptoms among college students in Sichuan to those in Shanghai 18 months after the Sichuan 8.0 earthquake and then evaluate the predictors. The PTSD Checklist-Civilian Version (PCL-C) was used to evaluate the posttraumatic stress symptoms among college students in Sichuan (n = 203) and Shanghai (n = 212) 18 months after the 2008 Sichuan 8.0 earthquake. Then, the predictors were analyzed. The PCL-C total score of college students in Sichuan was significantly higher than that in Shanghai (P < 0.01). There was a significant relationship between the PCL-C total score and experiencing earthquake, degree of the seism aesthesia, injured in the earthquake and having family, friends or others known died in the earthquake (P < 0.01). Having family members, friends, or others known died in the earthquake was a significant predictor of stress symptoms (P < 0.01). This finding will help build a knowledge base for public health practitioners to plan resources and strategies for post-disaster mental health recovery programs.
Key words: Earthquake, posttraumatic stress symptoms, PCL-C, college students.
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