In this book, the authors introduce and describe a measure--the Domestic Assets Scale---that they have developed to deal with these research problems. They first present theoretical arguments that relate living conditions to the concepts of disaster and development; they then show how the measure was constructed with the use of data collected in sample communities in Italy, Mexico, Peru, Turkey, the United States, and Yugoslavia. Throughout their discussions, they emphasize the practical application of their theoretical arguments and address the research problems and constraints faced by investigators using this procedure. Finally, they assess the validity and reliability of the Domestic Assets Scale and show how it can be used to measure long-term change, especially in the wake of catastrophic events.
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