Risk and protective factors mediating psychological symptoms and ideological commitment of adolescents facing continuous terrorism
ABSTRACT 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.
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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.Journal of Youth Studies 07/2014; 18(1). DOI:10.1080/13676261.2014.933193 · 1.38 Impact Factor
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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 psychological well-being.International Journal of Stress Management 02/2013; DOI:10.1037/a0031431 · 1.28 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Forced relocation of people from their homes due to changes in borders, war, or natural disasters has been recognized in the literature as a stressor which has affected communities throughout the world. However, the responses of latency-aged children to these stressors have not been sufficiently addressed. In an attempt to fill that gap, this article presents a phenomenological and diagnostic analysis of drawings made by Israeli children aged 7–9 who were evacuated from localities in the Gaza Strip area. The drawings indicate that the experience of forced relocation remained a significant one for the children, even 2years after the event. The children’s drawings reveal the difficulties they experienced, as well as the coping strategies that they used to work through the experience and adjust to the situation. The drawings indicate that with the passage of time their perceptions of the evacuation were not traumatic. The main coping strategies reflected in the children’s drawings are defense and distancing mechanisms, as well as family and community support. In addition, the children included numerous ideological statements in their drawings, which evidently reflect an attempt to understand the meaning of the relocation, and emphasize their group affiliation. As a result, it is important to include the components of ideology, community, and family in evaluations and psychosocial interventions in order to promote the children’s constructive coping. KeywordsForced relocation-Evacuees-Trauma-Coping strategies-IdeologyClinical Social Work Journal 12/2010; 38(4):397-407. DOI:10.1007/s10615-010-0288-z · 0.27 Impact Factor