Quakes didn’t stop school students achieving – In the News

A new study found, unexpectedly, that the Canterbury earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 did not negatively affect school leavers.

Christchurch Earthquake - Cranmer Square Building CollapsesDespite concerns that disasters tend to increase rates of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder – psychologists at the University of Otago found no evidence for poorer academic performance by Canterbury students as a consequence of the earthquakes.

Their findings, published today in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, looked for differences in school disengagement and academic performance across four “high impact” zones: Christchurch Central, Christchurch East, Port Hills and Waikamariri.

The researchers suggest the range of post-disaster responses may have mitigated the adverse effects on teens and suggest similar populations exposed to disasters in other settings are likely to do well in the presence of a comprehensive post-disaster response.

Read more about the research on scimex.org.

The study’s findings were covered in NZ media, including:

NZ Herald: Earthquake study into school leavers ‘unexpectedly’ finds no negative trends
Newstalk ZB: Christchurch students achieved despite quakes, says study