Hostname: page-component-8448b6f56d-c4f8m Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-04-22T00:32:30.277Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptomatology in People affected by Home Eviction in Spain

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 October 2017

Humbelina Robles-Ortega
Universidad de Granada (Spain)
Pedro Guerra
Universidad de Granada (Spain)
Isis González-Usera
Universidad de Granada (Spain)
José Luis Mata-Martín
Universidad de Granada (Spain)
M. Carmen Fernández-Santaella
Universidad de Granada (Spain)
Jaime Vila*
Universidad de Granada (Spain)
Julia Bolívar-Muñoz
Escuela Andaluza de Salud Pública (EASP)(Spain)
Mariola Bernal-Solano
Escuela Andaluza de Salud Pública (EASP)(Spain)
Inmaculada Mateo-Rodríguez
Escuela Andaluza de Salud Pública (EASP)(Spain)
Antonio Daponte-Codina
Escuela Andaluza de Salud Pública (EASP)(Spain)
*Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Jaime Vila. Faculty of Psychology. University of Granada. Campus La Cartuja s/n. 18071. Granada (Spain). Email:


Despite the higher proportion of foreclosures and home evictions executed in Spain, compared to other countries, and the known link between social exclusion and mental health problems, studies exploring this association in Spain remain scarce. This study investigated the link between the process of home eviction and the appearance of symptomatology of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and perceived stress. Two hundred and five people affected by the process of home eviction were assessed using a structured interview that included three validated assessment instruments for PTSD, perceived stress, anxiety and depression. Analysis involved comparison with the normative groups that formed the validation studies together with regression analysis to determine the major psychological and socio-demographic predictors of perceived stress. Of the participants, 95.1% reported that they were experiencing the process of home eviction with fear, helplessness, or horror. In PTSD symptomatology, they scored higher than the normative PTSD group in symptoms of avoidance (t = 5.01; p < .05), activation (t = 5.48; p < .01), and total score (t = 4.15; p < .05). Of this subgroup, 72.5% fulfilled the DSM-IV symptom criteria for PTSD. The major predictor of perceived stress was PTSD symptomatology (B = .09; p < .001). The process of home eviction in Spain is having an alarming impact on mental health of affected people calling for effective measures to provide psychological and social support.

Research Article
Copyright © Universidad Complutense de Madrid and Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos de Madrid 2017 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


We thank Stop-Eviction representatives in Granada their availability and assistance to facilitate the study. We also thank the volunteer collaboration of the professionals and students who have helped to its completion.

How to cite this article:

Robles-Ortega, H., Guerra, P., González-Usera, I., Mata-Martín, J. L., Fernández-Santaella, M. C., Vila, J., Bolívar-Muñoz, J., Bernal-Solano, M., Mateo-Rodríguez, I., & Daponte-Codina, A. (2017). Post-traumatic stress disorder symptomatology in people affected by home eviction in Spain. The Spanish Journal of Psychology, 20. e57. Doi:10.1017/sjp.2017.56


American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. (DSM-5). Washington, DC: APA.Google Scholar
Banco de España (2015). Nota informativa sobre los procesos de ejecución hipotecaria sobre viviendas [Information note on the processes of home foreclosure]. Madrid, Spain: Author.Google Scholar
Bennett, G. G., Scharoun-Lee, M., & Tucker-Seeley, R. (2009). Will the public’s health fall victim to the home foreclosure epidemic? PLoS Medicine, 6, e1000087. Google Scholar
Bolívar Muñoz, J., Bernal Solano, M., Mateo Rodríguez, I., Daponte Codina, A., Escudero Espinosa, C., Sánchez Cantalejo, C., ... Vila Castellar, J. (2016). La salud de las personas adultas afectadas por un proceso de desahucio [The health of adults undergoing an eviction process]. Gaceta Sanitaria 30, 410. Google Scholar
Cacioppo, J. T., Norris, C. J., Decety, J., Monteleone, G., & Nusbaum, H. (2009). In the eye of the beholder: Individual differences in perceived isolation predict regional brain activation to social stimuli. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 21, 8392. Google Scholar
Cohen, S., Kamarck, T., & Mermelstein, R. (1983). A global measure of perceived stress. Journal of Health and Social Behaviour, 24, 385396. Google Scholar
de las Cuevas, C., González de Rivera, J. L., Henry, M., & Gracia, R. (1991). Análisis factorial de la versión española del SCL-90-R en la población general [Factorial analysis of the Spanish version of the SCL-90-R in the general population]. Anales de Psiquiatría, 7, 9396.Google Scholar
Derogatis, L. R. (1994). Symptom checklist 90. administration scoring and procedures manual. Minneapolis, MN: National Computer Systems Inc.Google Scholar
Desmond, M. (2012). Eviction and the reproduction of urban poverty. American Journal of Sociology, 118, 88133. Google Scholar
Eagle, G., & Kaminer, D. (2013). Continuous traumatic stress: Expanding the lexicon of traumatic stress. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, 19, 8599. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Echeburúa, E., Corral, P., Amor, P. J., Zubizarreta, I., & Sarasua, B. (1997). Escala de gravedad de síntomas del trastorno de estrés postraumático: Propiedades psicométricas [symptom severity scale posttraumatic stress disorder: Psychometric properties]. Análisis y Modificación de Conducta, 23, 503526.Google Scholar
Eisenberger, N. I., & Cole, S. W. (2012). Social neuroscience and health. Neurophysiological mechanisms linking social ties with physical health. Nature Neuroscience, 15, 669674. CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Eisenberger, N. I., Master, S. L., Inagaki, T. K., Taylor, S. E., Shirinyan, D., Lieberman, M. D., & Naliboff, B. D. (2011). Attachment figures activate a safety signal-related neural region and reduce pain experience. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 118, 1172111726. Google Scholar
Fernández Durán, R. (2006). El Tsunami urbanizador español y mundial [The Spanish and global developer Tsunami]. Barcelona, Spain: Editorial Virus.Google Scholar
Fowler, K. A., Gladden, R. M., Vagi, K. J., Barnes, J., & Frazier, L. (2015). Increase in suicides associated with home eviction and foreclosure during the US housing crisis: Findings from 16 national violent death reporting system states, 2005–2010. American Journal of Public Health, 105, 311316. CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Gili, M., Roca, M., Basu, S., McKee, M., & Stuckler, D. (2013). The mental health risks of economic crisis in Spain: Evidence from primary care centers, 2006 and 2010. European Journal of Public Health, 23, 103108. Google Scholar
Guerra, P., Sánchez-Adam, A., Anllo-Vento, L., Ramírez, I., & Vila, J. (2012). Viewing loved faces inhibits defense reactions: A health-promotion mechanism? PLoS One, 7, e41631. CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
MacDonald, G., & Leary, M. R. (2005). Why does social exclusion hurt? The relationship between social and physical pain. Psychological Bulletin, 131, 202223. Google Scholar
McHenry, J., Carrier, N., Hull, E., & Kabbaj, M. (2014). Sex differences in anxiety and depression: Role of testosterone. Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology, 35, 4257. Google Scholar
McLaughlin, K. A., Nandi, A., Keyes, K. M., Uddin, M., Aiello, A. E., Galea, S., & Koenen, K. C. (2012). Home foreclosure and risk of psychiatric morbidity during the recent financial crisis. Psychological Medicine, 42, 14411448. Google Scholar
Ngun, T. C., Ghahramani, N., Sánchez, F. J., Bocklandt, S., & Vilain, E. (2011). The genetics of sex differences in brain and behavior. Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology, 32, 227246. CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Novoa, A. M., Bosch, J., Díaz, F., Malmusi, D., Darnell, M., & Trilla, C. (2014). Impact of the crisis on the relationship between housing and health. Policies for good practice to reduce inequalities in health related to housing conditions. Gaceta Sanitaria, 28, 4450. Google Scholar
Osypuk, T. L., Caldwell, C. H., Platt, R. W., & Misra, D. P. (2012). The consequences of foreclosure for depressive symptomatology. Annals of Epidemiology, 22, 379387. Google Scholar
Pevalin, D. J. (2009). Housing repossessions, evictions and common mental illness in the UK: Results from a household panel study. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 63, 949951. CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Ramis-Pujol, J. (2014). Una aproximación multidisciplinar al desahucio hipotecario basada en estudios de caso [A multidisciplinary approach to mortgage eviction based on case studies]. Mallorca, Spain: Fundación Innovación, Acción y conocimiento. Universidad Ramón Llull. Google Scholar
Remor, E. (2006). Psychometric properties of an European Spanish Version of the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS). The Spanish Journal of Psychology, 9, 8693. Google Scholar
Remor, E., & Carrobles, J. A. (2001). Versión española de la Escala de Estrés Percibido (PSS-14): Estudio psicométrico en una muestra de VIH+ [Spanish version of the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-14): Psychometric study in a sample of HIV +]. Ansiedad y Estrés, 7, 195201.Google Scholar
Robles Ortega, H. (2014). Trastornos adaptativos [Adjustment disorders]. In Caballo, V. E., Salazar, I. C., & Carrobles, J. A. (Eds.), Manual de psicopatología y trastornos psicológicos [Manual of Psychopathology and Psychological Disorders] (2 nd Ed.). Madrid, Spain: Ediciones Pirámide.Google Scholar
Tolin, D., & Foa, E. (2006). Sex differences in trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder: A quantitative review of 25 years of research. Psychologial Bulletin, 132, 959992. Google Scholar
Way, B. M., & Taylor, S. E. (2010). The serotonin transporter polymorphism is associated with cortisol response to psychosocial stress. Biological Psychiatry, 67, 487492. CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed