A cross-cultural comparison of mental health literacy and myths on Post-traumatic Stress Disorder caused by catastrophes

Clara GESTEIRA, Martina SPECK, Rayna SADIA, Haziq MEHMOOD, Samathan CHAN

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review


Mental health literacy (MHL), the knowledge that lay people have on mental health, has proved to be vital for the prevention and intervention on mental conditions (Jorn, 2000). When this literacy is poor, it leads to the formation of myths that can be very harmful for people who suffer from mental conditions. There is scarce literature on MHL related to trauma, and particularly in the area of trauma and catastrophic incidents. Besides, limited attention has been paid on the role of cultural values in the development of trauma (e. g. Maercker & Hecker, 2016; Maercker & Horn, 2012), even when cultural context can directly influence MHL (Corrigan, Markowitz, & Watson, 2003; Chaudhary, Mani, Ming, & Khan, 2016). We will conduct a cross-cultural study to compare people’s myths on trauma and catastrophes in four different countries (i.e., Spain, Germany, Canada, and Pakistan). Hierarchical regression analyses will be conducted, with the score on a questionnaire on myths related to trauma after catastrophes as the dependent variable. Sex, age, level of exposure to catastrophes and “country” will be considered as the predictors. Findings will expand the knowledge on myths related to trauma after catastrophic incidents and to broaden it to different cultures. Study results could also be useful for the design of specific programs for the promotion of MHL and therefore, for the amelioration of psychological interventions for victims of these catastrophic incidents.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-23
JournalApplied Psychology Around the World : Young Researchers in Applied Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


  • cross-cultural
  • mental health literacy
  • myths
  • catastrophic incidents
  • posttraumatic stress disorder


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