Surviving the pinatubo disaster: a model of coping and factors affecting coping styles

Date of Publication


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education major in Guidance and Counseling

Subject Categories

Counseling | Education


Br. Andrew Gonzalez FSC College of Education


Counseling and Educational Psychology

Thesis Adviser

Ma. Angeles G .Lapena

Defense Panel Chair

Dr. Naomi R. Ruiz

Defense Panel Member

Dr. Rose Marie S. Clemena
Ma. Belen Vergara


This study intended to describe the personality characteristics and social support available to Pinatubo survivors, specifically college students from HAU, and how these factors are related to coping style. It also sought to find out whether the stress and coping reactions of these survivors from certain patterns that can be described as stages of coping, and whether a model of coping can be obtained based on the constructs derived from their experience of disaster and survival.Specifically, it sought to answer the following questions:1. What is the profile of Pinatubo survivors among HAU college students in terms of (a) age, (b) sex, (c) residence, (d) phase of disaster experience, (e) personality characteristics, and (f) availability of social support?2. What are the reactions of the said survivors to the stressful situation brought about by the lahar and eruption of Mt. Pinatubo?3. Is there any pattern in the type and sequence of reactions of survivors? If there is, can this pattern be described as stages of coping?4. Based on the reactions of Pinatubo survivors, can a model of coping be formulated.5. Are there differences in the perceived helpfulness of the four coping styles used by the said survivors of disaster?6. Are there differences in coping styles according to personality characteristics?7. Are there differences in coping style according to social support?8. Is there a relationship between personality characteristics and social support as key influences in the coping styles of disaster survivors?Both quantitative and qualitative

methods were used to arrive at the findings of this study involving 58 college student from Holy Angel University who were identified to be lahar survivors through a series of background investigation of records of residence, interview, and focused group discussion (FGD). The grounded theory approach (Strauss & Corbin, 1990) in social research was used to determine the coping stages and the coping model. Whereas, the survey method was used to identify coping styles of survivors, whereas, the 16 Personality Factor Questionnaire was used to determine personality characteristics. Social support was based on responses to the FGD. A t-test for Paired Samples was used to determine significant differences in coping perceived helpfulness of coping styles, whereas, a two-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was used to determine significant differences in coping styles according to personality characteristics, social support and the interaction effects of the two independent variables on coping style. The hypotheses were tested at .05 level. Based on the results of the study the following conclusions were drawn:1. Survivors of the Pinatubo and lahar disaster undergo a predictable process of coping that occur in stages consisting of shock and denial, depression and immobilization, meaning/action formation, and acceptance.2. Survivors' experiences can be structured into a model based on construct derived from their experiences. This model consists of causal conditions leading to certain observable phenomena (stress reactions), context and intervening conditions influencing strategy formation which leads to positive consequences.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

158 numb. leaves


Coping behavior; Disasters -- Psychological aspects; Disaster victims -- Philippines -- Pampanga; Social service; Rural

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