A Safe Home? A Qualitative Study into the Experiences of Adolescents Growing Up in the Dutch Area Impacted by Earthquakes Induced by Gas Extraction

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Abstract

For decades, the Netherlands has experienced minor earthquakes due to gas extraction. This study aims to obtain insight into the experiences of adolescents and the impact of these earthquakes on their well-being and living environment. Focus groups were held with 24 adolescents, and interviews were held with 3 adolescents (N = 27; M = 15 years). Through qualitative analysis, we identified six themes. The adolescents shared experiences of anxiety related to the earthquakes and their consequences and considered these to be a normal part of their life. Anxiety and feelings of endangerment not only related to their own experiences but were also connected to the impact of earthquakes on their social environment, such as the restoration of buildings. Several sources of support (e.g., talking, social cohesion) were mentioned to deal with the negative consequences of the earthquakes. A lack of trust in the government was an additional main theme, with adolescents mentioning several needs, potentially relevant to policymakers in the Netherlands. Growing up in the gas extraction area of Groningen had many consequences on the adolescents in the study, who felt inhibited from expressing feelings of anxiety and fear. To support their needs, interventions at the individual, family, educational, societal, and policy levels are recommended. View Full-Text
Original languageEnglish
Article number4716
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume19
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13-Apr-2022

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