This study examined the direct and indirect effects of cognitions and anxiety associated with aftershocks on psychological symptoms (anxiety, depression, acute stress) and daily functioning (general and relationship). Participants were 600 adults from Christchurch. Data collection was approximately four months after the fatal 2011 earthquake. Path analysis was used. Socioeconomic status was directly associated with appraisals of uncontrollability of response to aftershocks. These cognitions were directly related to aftershock anxiety, which heightened general anxiety, depression and acute stress symptoms. These symptoms were directly associated with relationship and general life dysfunction. Aftershock anxiety plays a significant role in ongoing psychological distress associated with earthquakes.