Rachel Dekel

Rachel Dekel
Bar Ilan University | BIU · School of Social Work

Ph.D.

About

154
Publications
30,662
Reads
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4,000
Citations
Introduction
Additional affiliations
October 1999 - present
Bar Ilan University
Position
  • Head of Department
September 1995 - August 1999
Tel Aviv University
Position
  • Instructur

Publications

Publications (154)
Article
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The provision of informal care presents a significant global challenge. To better understand how cultural factors underpin and shape motivations and willingness to provide informal care for adults, an in-depth qualitative synthesis was conducted. Six electronic databases and a wide range of additional sources were searched. Following meta-ethnograp...
Article
Cyber intimate partner violence (CIPV) is a multidimensional phenomenon which encompasses online forms of psychological aggression, sexual aggression, and stalking-like behaviors. The study’s aims were to examine CIPV rates and to determine whether there were differences according to gender and culture. The study was conducted among a representativ...
Article
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Objective: Cardiac-disease-induced posttraumatic stress symptoms (CDI-PTSS) have been detected among a substantial number of cardiac patients. Even though patients' caregiving partners are also susceptible to CDI-PTSS, the research on cardiac partners' CDI-PTSS is scarce. Based on the ecological model of trauma and recovery, we investigated levels...
Article
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This viewpoint article reviews theoretical approaches that are relevant to studying COVID-19 and the psychological reactions to it. We suggest that the published research can be viewed from four major theoretical perspectives: as a stress situation, traumatic event, shared reality/shared trauma, and loss and grief situation. We detail the terms and...
Article
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Objective: This qualitative study's aim was to learn how the spouses and romantic partners of frontline doctors and nurses dealt with the acute stress of the outbreak; the kinds of support they provided when the frontliners had to navigate COVID-19 at their hospitals; and, according to their perceptions, how this crisis impacted their relationship...
Article
Two years have passed since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The entire world is still struggling with the virus and its mutations, and governments have been imposing various restrictions, including social distancing and quarantine. This paper leans on the Conservation of Resources (COR) theoretical model in comparing the impact of COVID-19 w...
Article
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Objective: The objective of this review is to describe the experiences of children growing up in military families whose parents have military-related post-traumatic stress disorder. Introduction: Whether serving as a peacekeeper or warrior, military service is both physically and psychologically demanding, increasing exposures to potentially tr...
Article
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Background Public safety occupations are well-recognized to be dangerous and stressful. Despite recent attention on post-traumatic stress injuries among public safety personnel, there has been considerably less attention paid to the ongoing ways in which the risks and requirements associated with those occupations shape family life, and how familie...
Article
Military widows’ remarriages and their consequences have scarcely been studied. We examined how legal changes enacted on behalf of remarried war widows, who regained their official rights after many years without them, impacted their life experience. Based upon 29 qualitative interviews, we found that the reinstatement of official recognition of wi...
Article
Objective: There is a relatively wide consensus that veterans' posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) may lead to the development of secondary traumatization (ST) among their spouses. However, there is limited knowledge about the way the ST develops over time, as well as its predictors. The current longitudinal study examined ST trajectories among s...
Article
LAY SUMMARY Military combat commander couples face many difficulties, and support, especially perceived support, can be an important source for coping with them. This study examined how perceived support contributes to marital satisfaction among 248 male combat commanders in the Israel Defense Forces and their female spouses. The study found that t...
Article
The grief literature emphasizes widows' continuing bonds with their deceased spouses as a significant part of their grief process. Yet, little is known about what happens to those bonds when a widow remarries and there is a second spouse, and how these bonds are dealt with by the new family members. This study explored the continuing bonds of remar...
Article
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Background Parents of children following traumatic medical events (TMEs) are known to be at high risk for developing severe post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS). Findings on the negative impact of TMEs on parents’ PTSS have been described in different cultures and societies. Parents from ethnic minority groups may be at particularly increased risk...
Preprint
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Background: Parents of children following a traumatic medical event (TME) are known to be at high risk for developing severe post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS). Findings on the negative impact of TMEs on parents’ PTSS have been described in different cultures and societies worldwide. However, in some cases, a specific ethnic group may also be a...
Article
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Objective Empathy plays an important role in romantic relationships; and thus, this study examined the contribution of both Israeli male military veterans' and their female partners' cognitive and emotional empathy to both partners' adjustment defined as posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) and functioning, comparing veterans who asked for mental h...
Article
Objective: The present study, conducted after the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict, was aimed to investigate 2 resources (i.e., personal mastery and community dedication) hypothesized to have a mediating effect on the relationship between trauma exposure and PTSS (posttraumatic stress symptoms) and PTG (posttraumatic growth) in the aftermath of a traumati...
Article
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Across the globe, individuals, families, and communities are directly impacted by traumatic events through a spectrum of issues, including posttraumatic stress and similar psychological disorders, family distress, and upheaval of social and community systems. The repercussions from trauma impact the family and social‐cultural community systems of i...
Article
Objectives: This study examined the contribution of pretrauma psychosocial factors (child emotional functioning, family resources, family functioning, and social support) and environmental factors (mother's posttraumatic stress symptoms [PTSSs], medical team support [MTS]) to PTSSs of injured or seriously ill children within a pediatric rehabilita...
Article
Across the globe, individuals, families, and communities are directly impacted by traumatic events through a spectrum of issues, including posttraumatic stress and similar psychological disorders, family distress, and upheaval of social and community systems. The repercussions from trauma impact the family and social‐cultural community systems of i...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression are comorbid consequences of intimate partner violence (IPV), and models explain this comorbidity via an intrinsic relationship between them. The current study posits that changes in both disorders may provide a clearer picture regarding the interrelations between them. We examined mut...
Article
One approach to understanding perpetration of intimate partner violence (IPV) by men focuses upon their childhood exposure to abuse or neglect as traumatic experiences, which may lead to PTSD symptoms; these symptoms can serve as risk factors for IPV perpetration. Another approach looks at the societal aspects of inequality between men and women as...
Article
Objective: Although trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapies (CBTs) for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have been applied worldwide, the nature of how these Western-based interventions are applied in diverse settings has varied. This paper systematically reviewed the literature on how trauma-focused CBTs have been applied and adapted cro...
Article
Background: Symptoms of both posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and disturbances in self-organization (DSO) have been suggested to play a role in the association between an individual's childhood physical abuse and neglect and his/her perpetration of IPV in adulthood; however, the two have yet to be studied in one model. Thus, we aimed to examin...
Article
This study examined whether there were differences in levels of depression between Arab and Jewish Israeli female victims of intimate partner violence (IPV) and how various personal and environmental variables contributed to depression. A total of 303 women were selected. T tests were conducted, and no significant differences were revealed. Hierarc...
Article
The most common stress reactions following combat are post-traumatic stress reactions. These responses have a great impact on quality-of-life and can damage victims’ personal, familial, and social functioning. However, of the people who develop PTSD, only a few request psychological help. The first aim of the research was, therefore, to examine the...
Article
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Researchers have found that intimate partner violence (IPV) is associated with low self-rated health (SRH), which is correlated with increased medication usage, and has tremendous social consequences. IPV and low SRH are associated with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression, and the current study examined the interrelations between th...
Article
The study used the ecological model of trauma and recovery (Harvey, 1996) to examine the rates of probable posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among female victims of domestic violence. Five hundred and five participants completed questionnaires upon entering shelters in Israel. Analysis showed that 61% of the participants reported probable PTSD....
Article
Objective: The long-term consequences of military spousal grief have not been adequately studied. Although the literature emphasizes the widow's connection with the deceased as part of the grief process, the importance of the sharing patterns of such grief has been overlooked. This study aimed to add to the understanding of remarried military wido...
Article
Full-text available
In this study, we aimed to understand female partners’ ways of giving support to their male military veteran partners’ adjustment. Specifically, we examined the direct and moderating contributions female partners’ ways of giving support—active engagement, protective buffering, or overprotection—make on their male partners’ posttraumatic stress symp...
Article
Using the family stress model as our conceptual framework, we explored whether observed maternal parenting practices (positive and coercive) account for the associations between mothers’ posttraumatic stress symptoms and children’s externalizing behaviors. Mothers’ self-reported posttraumatic stress symptoms, observed maternal practices, and report...
Article
Despite the growing attention to fathers, in both research and practice, fatherhood in the context of political violence has been understudied. As a result, knowledge regarding practical intervention is also lacking. The current study examined whether fathers’ parenting styles were related to their levels of exposure to political violence and wheth...
Article
According to Edmondson's Enduring Somatic Threat (EST) Model of PTSD Due to Acute Life-Threatening Medical Events, the nature of PTSD in the context of illness may differ from the nature of "traditional" PTSD in that it includes future-oriented alongside past-related intrusive thoughts. Yet almost no empirical studies to date have assessed the puta...
Article
Review question/objective: The objective of this review is to understand how parental Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) might impact children growing up in military and veteran families. The following question will guide and inform the review: What is the experience of children growing up in military families where the military or veteran pare...
Article
This study examined the associations between exposure to armed conflict, perceived support, work experience, needing help, and post-traumatic distress among Israeli social workers in foster care agencies based on Conservation of Resources theory. The study used a mixed-methods design. Six months after the end of an armed conflict, 82 social workers...
Article
Although war is a central setting in which men are judged by their success in meeting gendered societal expectations, literature regarding the effects of (a) exposure to a combat event and (b) combat-related posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) on a men’s sense of masculinity is limited. The aim of the current study was to examine how Israeli veter...
Article
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There is a dearth of research on parent and child reports regarding a parent’s parenting and its contribution to a child’s adjustment. Therefore, the current study examined: (a) the differences between mother and child reports of aspects of maternal parenting (i.e., care and control), among both boys and girls; (b) which parenting report (i.e., mot...
Article
Background Being a foster parent is stressful. It becomes even more stressful when foster parents face major threats to their own families and to the foster children in their care, such as during war situations. This study focuses on foster parents' reactions to the war with Gaza in southern Israel that took place in 2014. The first goal of this st...
Article
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Self-report questionnaires assessing mental health, purpose in life (PIL) and mastery were administered to 61 female veterans with disabilities (FVWD) and compared 72 demographically matched women in control group without disabilities to learn about use of personal resources in promoting well-being and resilience. Age range was 20–82; average age w...
Article
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While psychopathology in general is linked to poorer marital and parental satisfaction, there is a paucity of data regarding these interactions in parents with Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The current study addresses this issue among a civilian population. Two hundred trauma-exposed parents, mean age of 37.2, 62% mothers, were assessed usi...
Article
The aim of the current study was to address a gap in the literature by determining prevalence, specific types of violence, and risk factors of intimate partner violence (IPV) among Israeli born Arab women compared with Israeli born Jewish women. The following measures were compared: demographic and socioeconomic measures; measures relating to the c...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: The existing literature has shown that war veterans' posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) are associated with high levels of distress in their female partners. According to the literature, spouses' empathy for their spouses can be a risk factor for their own mental health. However, this subject has not been examined among veteran couple...
Chapter
Despite a growing recognition of the significance of women’s roles in the military, the professional literature has given only scant attention to the unique needs of female military veterans with disabilities. Based on data and research derived from the US, Europe and Israel, Dekel and Goldberg offer a much needed review on this topic. Grounded on...
Article
This autobiographical essay focuses on my life in Israel as a daughter of a Holocaust survivor and a mother whose children serve or will serve in the army. The 1st part of the article addresses 2 questions—who I am and what I do—and describes my life in Israel on the basis of my personal family history and the threatened Israeli context. The 2nd pa...
Article
Objectives: This study explored the behavioral and emotional adjustment of Israeli school-age children who are exposed to political violence. Based on Bronfenbrenner's (1986) ecological model and ecological model of psychosocial trauma (Harvey, 2007), we examined the direct contribution of exposure, gender, maternal characteristics (mother's postt...
Chapter
The current chapter reviews the existing research on three aspects of parenting and the military in Israel: parenting of young soldiers; career military service and its effects on parenting; and the effects of PTSD on parenting, taking into account the unique cultural, social and political characteristics of Israel. The chapter’s first section shed...
Article
In the present study, ecological theory was used as a basis for predicting depression among women who survive intimate partner violence (IPV). The predictors examined in the study derived from three ecological systems: the microsystem (background variables and frequency of the violence), the ontogenic system (personal resources), and the mesosystem...
Article
It is well established that a patient's partner can be deeply affected by the traumatizing nature of the patient's illness. Yet, no study to date has focused on post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) among partners of patients coping with an acute coronary syndrome (ACS). The current study's main aims were to address this gap and to evaluate cardiac...
Article
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In a shared traumatic reality, mental health professionals and their clients are exposed to the same communal disaster. Both living and working in the same high-stress community can create a conflict between the professional's work and his or her private life. The author analyzed three focus groups consisting of 30 mental health professionals who w...
Article
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Background Evidence regarding the detrimental effects of exposure to stress on glycemic control among diabetes patients has mainly focused on personal life events or acute trauma. However, the effects of continuous exposure to extreme stress on type 2 diabetes patients have rarely been studied. The aim of the current study was to examine the associ...
Article
Growing political instability around the world has exposed an increasing number of communities to military conflict. Social workers and other mental health professionals who work as trauma workers, and who both live and practise within these communities, are doubly exposed: directly and indirectly, personally and professionally. The present study e...
Article
Full-text available
The existing literature has shown that war veterans' posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms are associated with a higher level of distress in their female partners. However, less agreement exists regarding the sources of this distress and the mechanism by which this process occurs. The current study examined the consequences of Israeli war v...
Chapter
This chapter explores the interfaces between positive psychology and social work, to highlight common and complementary aspects of each profession, and to offer an integrative view. It presents the basic underpinnings of positive psychology and social work and discuss the similarities between their definitions and goals; and also makes note of thei...
Article
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Older adults are underrepresented in medical research for many reasons, including recruitment difficulties. Recruitment of older adults for research studies is often a time-consuming process and can be more challenging when the study involves older adults with unique exposures to traumatic events and from minority groups. The current article provid...
Article
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The current study compared levels of posttraumatic symptoms (PTS) resulting from continuous exposure to missile attacks among residents of 2 types of communities (urban vs. rural) in 2 different age groups (elderly persons vs. young adults). We also took into account the contribution of individual resources (sociodemographic variables) and communit...
Article
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Fathers may serve as critical coping resources for their children in the context of political violence. Nevertheless, their parental characteristics in this context have received scant attention in the literature. The present study examined the relationship between exposure to political violence and parental self-efficacy (PSE). Furthermore, the st...
Article
This study had two aims:1. To examine whether soldiers who participated in Early Group Intervention (EGO would show less distress and better functioning and physical health than soldiers who did not participate in EGI, and 2. To examine the contribution of the intervention to participants with repressive coping style. The sample comprised 166 male...
Article
This study examined the contribution of maternal bonding to the adjustment of Israeli adolescents following the 2006 Lebanon War. In all, 2,858 seventh and eighth graders who lived in areas that were exposed to missile attacks completed the Parental Bonding Instrument (assessing maternal care and control) and questionnaires evaluating post-traumati...
Article
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Objective: The current study explored whether attachment orientations moderate the associations between caregiver burden and depressive symptoms among women coping with their partners' first time acute coronary syndrome. The association between burden and depression was hypothesized to be stronger among caregivers high on anxious attachment than a...
Article
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The purpose of the current study was to describe the process of religious coping in a religious community that underwent a forced relocation. Whereas previous work on meaning-making processes has looked at individuals, we sought to understand what happens to the process of religious coping when an entire community experiences a shared stressful eve...
Article
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Background: Several studies have suggested that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is related to adverse health outcomes. There are limited data on PTSD and cancer, which has a long latency period. We investigated the association between World War II (WWII)-related PTSD and subsequent breast cancer (BC) risk among Jewish WWII survivors and exam...
Article
In the present article, we report a series of studies examining the links between attachment orientations and compassion fatigue among volunteers working with traumatized individuals. In Study 1 (N = 148), we examined associations between self-reports of attachment insecurities and compassion fatigue. In Study 2 (N = 54), we used a diary design to...
Article
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This study investigated negative and positive emotional outcomes among civilians exposed to ongoing terror. The measures included direct, indirect and subjective exposure to terror, human resources, posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTS), distress and posttraumatic growth (PTG). The results indicate that whereas direct exposure is not related to the o...
Article
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Objectives: The current study examined the contribution of marital satisfaction to symptoms of depression among patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and their partners. Method: The sample comprised of 91 ACS male patients and their female partners. Data were collected at the time of initial hospitalization and 6 months later. Patients' an...
Article
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to focus on comparing background characteristics, self‐efficacy, and family support of immigrants from the Former Soviet Union (FSU) and of veteran Israelis who join therapeutic communities in Israel, and their adjustment to these communities. The aim of this research was to examine whether therapeutic communi...
Article
The study examined the unique contribution of both personal characteristics and several types of exposure variables to the adjustment of Israeli adolescents following the Second Lebanon War. Two thousand three hundred and fourteen adolescents, who lived in areas that were the target of multiple missile attacks, completed self-report questionnaires...
Article
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Abstract Based on the predictions of the attachment theory and the Common Sense Model of illness perceptions, the current study focused on the role played by illness perceptions in explaining the path linking attachment orientations to negative affect during recovery from cardiac illness. We predicted two putative mechanisms: (1) illness perception...
Article
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Collective trauma may lead to a pervasive loss of personal and social resources. The current study used a mixed method design to explore losses of social connections and affiliations following the collective trauma of forced relocation. A sample of 269 relocated residents from Gush Katif completed open-ended questionnaires regarding their ability t...
Article
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The current study investigated the relationships between levels and modes of preparedness for relocation, ideology, and subsequent posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A sample of 269 relocated residents from Gush Katif completed questionnaires examining their previous life stressors, preparation prior to their relocation, level of ideology, and c...
Article
This chapter reviews the extant literature on the interpersonal aspects of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), with a focus on couple and family models of PTSD. Topics include the association of PTSD with a variety of family relationship problems in a range of traumatized populations. The role of relevant interpersonal constructs in the developme...
Article
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The current prospective study explored how male cardiac patients' perceptions of received support (i.e., active engagement, protective buffering, and overprotection) moderated the associations between female partners' perceptions of provided support and patients' recovery outcomes: psychological well-being, cholesterol levels, and smoking cessation...
Article
Forced relocation has been recognised as a traumatic event, which can generate pathological and positive responses. The current study focused on the situation of Israeli residents who were forced to relocate from their homes in the Gaza Strip. Two main questions were examined: the association between post-traumatic symptoms and post-traumatic growt...
Article
The vast numbers of studies regarding caloric restriction (CR) and breast cancer risk are based on war-related extreme situations. Studying the impact of CR in Jews during World War II (WW II) is challenging due to its variance and duration. To develop novel research tools in order to assess CR exposure in Jews that occurred more than 60 years ago...