Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair

William B. Collins

Committee Co-Chair

Jeong-Nam Kim,

Committee Member 1

Seungyoon Lee

Committee Member 2

Melanie Morgan

Committee Member 3

Steven Witz


Individual disaster resilience is a new and understudied concept. It is defined as the degree to which an individual has the capacity to obtain, process, and understand disaster-related information and identify and mobilize relevant resources to make appropriate decisions and actions in dealing with disaster-related risk situations. This concept is composed of four factors: knowledge coping, information coping, communal coping and affective coping. This dissertation operationalizes this new concept and its four dimensions and develops a measurement system to test this multivariate concept known as the Individual Disaster Resilience Assessment or InDRA. This was accomplished by conducting two studies. Forty-six original items were developed to construct InDRA and were factor-analyzed to create a simplified 20-item assessment. Other established scales were tested against InDRA and provided validity to this new measure. With the creation and validation of this assessment, governments and other organizations can use this scale to test their publics’ knowledge about disaster situations to better learn what characteristics individuals in the community possess and what characteristics need more development. Based on the results, these organizations can better tailor communication strategies to educate and train individual citizens in acquiring disaster coping capacity in various disaster situations.