This study evaluated symptoms, risk, and protective factors of adolescents from six Israeli schools exposed to continuous terrorism. All children in the grades selected at each school (7, 9, and 11) were administered anonymous assessment materials measuring posttraumatic, grief, and dissociative symptoms, as well as traumatic exposure, personal resilience, and family factors. A high number of risk factors increased the likelihood of negative symptoms. Perceived personal resilience served as a protective factor against symptom development, perhaps enforced by ideology. Girls living on the West Bank had less severe posttrauma and were more willing to make personal sacrifices for their country. Proactive interventions aimed at enhancing a child's personal resilience and ability to cope with continuous stress may help protect against later symptomatology following traumatic events. Facing terrorism, political ideology may serve a double edge sword: protecting against symptom development as well as contributing to the toxic cycle of violence.
"t lower beliefs in the chance for peace and less openness to reconciliation , or attitudes of revenge , were associated with more severe post - traumatic symptoms ( Bayer , Klasen , and Adam 2007 ; Laor , Wolmer , and Cohen 2004 ; Lavi and Solomon 2005 ) . However , strong ideology , even pro - war ideology , was a protector from stress symptoms ( Laor et al . 2006 ) ."
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The present study examined attitudes toward war and peace during a violent conflict
and their relationships with anxiety reactions. We aimed to find out if attitudes toward
the conflict in general or attitudes toward the specific operation are linked to anxiety
reactions during a stressful situation and if a personal coping resource mediates the
relationships between these attitudes and anxiety. Data were gathered on November
2012 from 78 Jewish adolescents living in southern Israel who were exposed to missile
attacks during a military operation. Adolescents filled out self-report questionnaires
which included socio-demographic characteristics; attitudes toward the military
operation; ways to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict; and sense of coherence
and state anxiety. Results showed that most of the adolescents believed that a military
operation would diminish the missile attacks to some extent or totally. Overall,
adolescents who believed that a military operation would resolve the situation for a
limited time were more anxious, while those who believed that it would open the
opportunity for negotiation with the enemy, socialization, education, and mutual
interest were less anxious. Results are discussed against the background of the
meanings of growing up in the shadow of intractable violent conflict.
"Most prospective studies of children and trauma (including war) have used children as the only informants. Although it is commonly held that children and adolescents are better informants than their parents regarding internalizing disorders, this issue is far from settled (Laor et al., 2006). Jensen found (Jensen et al., 1999) that parents and children equally identify discrepant cases of anxiety disorders with the authors stating that it is risky to discard information from either informant without sacrificing a significant proportion of cases. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prospective studies of children exposed to war have not investigated disorders other than posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and have methodological limitations. From a stratified random sample of 386 children and adolescents who had been interviewed 3 weeks after war exposure (Phase 1) a random subsample (N = 143) was interviewed a year later (Phase 2). PTSD, major depressive disorder (MDD), separation anxiety disorder (SAD), overanxious disorder (OAD), and psychosocial stressors were assessed using structured interviews administered to both children and adolescents and their parents. The prevalence of disorders among the 143 at Phase 1 was MDD 25.9%, SAD 16.1%, OAD 28.0%, and PTSD 26.0%, with 44.1% having any disorder. At Phase 2 the prevalence was MDD, 5.6%; SAD, 4.2%; OAD, 0%; and PTSD, 1.4%, with 9.2% having any disorder. Occurrence of disorders at Phase 1 was associated with older age, prewar disorders, financial problems, fear of being beaten, and witnessing any war event (ORs ranged from 2.5 to 28.6). Persistence of disorders to Phase 2 was associated with prewar disorders (OR = 6.0) and witnessing any war event (OR = 14.3). There are implications for detection of at-risk cases following wars by screening for adolescents exposed to family violence, those with prewar disorders, and those who directly witnessed war events to target them for specific interventions.
"Although ideological convictions might help maintain psychological equanimity and give meaning to extreme traumatic events (e.g., Punamäki, Qouta, & El-Sarraj, 2001), ideological commitment may also function as a vulnerability factor in coping with political stressors. Strong ideological commitment among Jewish settlers was specifically found to be positively associated with distress (Laor et al., 2006; Laufer, Shechory, & Solomon, 2009). In an attempt to explain these mixed findings, Laufer and her colleagues (2009) postulated that the effects of ideological commitment on mental health are dependent on the content of ideology. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study was to examine the role of ideological commitment
and national attachment in distress experienced by Jewish evacuees
from Gaza and the West Bank, Israel (“Gush Katif”), 6 years after their
forced evacuation. Fifty-one evacuees from Israeli settlements in Gush Katif
completed web-administered self-report questionnaires tapping their levels
of ideological commitment, national attachment, and psychological distress.
Ideological commitment was found to be positively associated with stress
(� � .33, p � .01) and depression (� � .25, p � .05). On the other hand,
national attachment was found to be negatively associated with stress
(� � �.24, p � .05) and depression (� � �.43, p � .001). A statistically
significant interaction was found between national attachment and ideological
commitment such that when ideological commitment was high, national
attachment was associated with lower levels of depression, but when national
attachment was low, ideological commitment was associated with higher
levels of depression. Our findings are consistent with the conceptualization of
a complex vulnerability-resilience dynamic in which different facets of political
ideology may have complex and sometimes contradicting effects on
International Journal of Stress Management 02/2013; DOI:10.1037/a0031431 · 1.28 Impact Factor
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