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Individual, Community, and National Resilience in Peace Time and in the Face of Terror: A Longitudinal Study


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The present paper is based on three-repeated measures. The sample constituted 561 Jewish Israeli adults who experienced these terror attacks. The study examined individual, community and national resilience and their associations with resilience promoting factors (sense of coherence, social support and self-efficacy); as well as resilience suppressing factors (distress symptoms, sense of danger and exposure). Results indicated that resilience scores were quite stable across the three repeated measures, whereas sense of coherence, distress symptoms, sense of danger and exposure significantly changed across the three repeated measures. Sense of coherence was the best predictor for individual, community and national resilience.
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Journal of Loss and Trauma
International Perspectives on Stress & Coping
ISSN: 1532-5024 (Print) 1532-5032 (Online) Journal homepage:
Individual, Community, and National Resilience
in Peace Time and in the Face of Terror: A
Longitudinal Study
Shaul Kimhi, Yohanan Eshel, Dmitry Leykin & Mooli Lahad
To cite this article: Shaul Kimhi, Yohanan Eshel, Dmitry Leykin & Mooli Lahad (2017) Individual,
Community, and National Resilience in Peace Time and in the Face of Terror: A Longitudinal Study,
Journal of Loss and Trauma, 22:8, 698-713, DOI: 10.1080/15325024.2017.1391943
To link to this article:
Accepted author version posted online: 27
Oct 2017.
Published online: 28 Nov 2017.
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2017, VOL. 22, NO. 8, 698–713
Individual, Community, and National Resilience in Peace
Time and in the Face of Terror: A Longitudinal Study
Shaul Kimhia, Yohanan Eshela, Dmitry Leykinb, and Mooli Lahadc
aPsychology Department, Tel Hai College, Tel Hai, Israel; bRecanati School for Community Health
Professions, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Department of Emergency Medicine,
Faculty of Health Sciences, Israel; cTel Hai College, Community Stress Prevention Center, Kiryat
Shemona, Israel
The present paper is based on thrice-repeated measures. The
sample constituted 561 Jewish Israeli adults who experienced
these terror attacks. The study examined individual, community
and national resilience and their associations with resilience-
promoting factors (sense of coherence, social support, and
self-efficacy); as well as resilience-suppressing factors (distress
symptoms, sense of danger, and exposure). Results indicated
that resilience scores were quite stable across the three
repeated measures, whereas sense of coherence, distress
symptoms, sense of danger, and exposure significantly changed
across the three repeated measures. Sense of coherence was
the best predictor for individual, community, and national
Received 9 October 2017
Accepted 10 October 2017
Community resilience;
individual resilience;
longitudinal research;
national resilience; stability
and change of resilience;
The present longitudinal study employs pre-adversity measures as predictors
of postdiversity resilience. The following issues are examined: To what extent
do resilience-promoting and suppressing factors change following terror
attacks? To what degree do sense of coherence, social support, self-efficacy,
and level of exposure, in peaceful times, predict individual, community, and
national resilience under future terror attacks? Do individual, community,
and national resilience remain stable across three repeated measurements
during a wave of terror?
A literature review indicates that there are many definitions of resilience
(Bonanno, Romero, & Klein, 2015). Earlier definitions of resilience empha-
sized deficit-based pathogenic processes such as levels of distress symptoms
after a major adversity. In the last decades, resilience theory has shifted away
“from looking at risk factors that led to psychosocial problems to the identi-
fication of strengths of an individual” (Richardson, 2002, p. 309). Resilience
has thus been defined as “protective factors which modify, ameliorate or
alter a person’s response to some environmental hazard that predisposes
to a maladaptive outcome” (Rutter, 1987, p. 316; 2006). Similarly, other
none defined
CONTACT Prof. Shaul Kimhi; Psychology Department, Tel Hai
College, 12210, Israel.
© 2017 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
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researchers have defined resilience as people’s ability to withstand stress and
adversity (Bonanno, 2004; Suedfeld, 2015).
Our theoretical position is that resilience should be determined concur-
rently by strength and vulnerability and should reflect the balance between
protective factors and risk factors (e.g., Masten, 2011). We define resilience
as the ratio of perceived strength (protective factors) to vulnerability (risk
factors; SVR), following an adversity or a potentially traumatic event, at the
individual, community, or national levels. This definition of resilience is
supported by recent Israeli studies (Eshel & Kimhi, 2016a).
In the current study, we examined resilience change and stability using SVR
indices, which are based on resilience scale scores divided by vulnerability
scale scores. In addition, we examined resilience-promoting and suppressing
factors as predictors of resilience across the three measures. There are
earlier prospective resilience studies (Hjemdal, Friborg, Stiles, Rosenvinge,
& Martinussen, 2006). However, this is one of the few studies that has
managed to collect data from the same participants both prior and after a
potentially traumatic event.
Change and stability of resilience
Resilience is described as a dynamic adjustment process that changes
according to contextual modifications (Fletcher & Sarkar, 2013). Thus, for
instance, exposure to the September 11, 2001, terror attacks resulted in higher
levels of patriotism among Americans (Moskalenko, McCauley, & Rozin,
2006). Sense of resilience and distress symptoms are bound to change accord-
ing to individual interpretation of the situation. However (Bonanno, 2004;
Bonanno, Romero, & Klein, 2015) has posited that the vast majority of people
retrieve a sufficient degree of resilience following adversity, despite a degree of
distress symptoms.
Individual resilience
A literature review has indicated that most of the research on resilience
pertains to individual resilience. It appears that individual resilience is a key
issue in buffering negative psychological consequences of major adversities
(Kimhi & Eshel, 2009; Suedfeld, 2015). According to our definition in this
study, individual resilience is the individual strength and vulnerability ratio
Community resilience
Cacioppo, Reis, & Zautra (2011) defined social resilience as “the capacity to
foster, engage in, and sustain positive relationships and to endure and recover
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from life stressors and social isolation” (p. 44). Community resilience
expresses the interaction between individuals and their community and per-
tains to the ability of individuals to get help from their community, and the
ability of the community to help individuals and provide for their needs.
According to our reasoning, community strength-to-vulnerability ratio
(COM-SVR) will be determined by community resilience scale scores divided
by sense of danger (Leykin, Lahad, Cohen, Goldberg, & Aharonson-Daniel,
National resilience
Several studies have referred to resilience as a wider societal phenomenon,
and have investigated it in terms of national resilience (Chemtob, 2005) or
social resilience (Cacioppo, Reis, & Zautra, 2011). Four main social compo-
nents have been attributed to national resilience (Ben-Dor et al., 2002):
patriotism, optimism, social integration, and trust in political and public insti-
tutions. One of a few studies of antecedents of NAT-SVR (national resilience
scale scores divided by sense of danger) has shown that NAT-SVR was
positively predicted by sense of coherence, well-being, and economic
condition (Eshel & Kimhi, 2016b).
Resilience-promoting and suppressing factors
Sense of coherence
The sense of coherence (SOC) concept comprises three interrelated compo-
nents: sense of meaningfulness, comprehensibility, and manageability. Hence,
SOC affects how individuals perceive the world and the events that happen to
them as well as the extent to which they perceive these events as controllable.
SOC is a major element of Antonovsky’s theory (1993; 1987). According to
this theory, higher SOC indicates an ability to cope with adversities such as
war (Braun-Lewensohn & Sagy, 2014). Earlier studies indicated that higher
SOC has been associated positively with greater resilience (Ebert, Tucker, &
Roth, 2002).
Social support
Social support from significant others, family, and friends is a major
stress-reducing element among university students. Social support is inversely
correlated with students’ stressful life events, and negative emotional reactions
(El-Ghoroury, Galper, Sawaqdeh, & Bufka, 2012), and lack of a relationship
with a significant other was positively associated with students’ academic
stress (Hudson & O’Regan, 1994).
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The construct of perceived self-efficacy reflects an optimistic self-belief, and
refers to people’s beliefs about their capacity to exercise control over events
that affect their lives in order to manage prospective situations. Perceived
self-efficacy influences the goals people set, the effort they invest in attaining
those goals, and their resilience when faced with difficulties (Bandura, 1997).
Research shows that the self-efficacy score has been positively correlated with
individual levels of engagement toward a specific goal, and with levels of per-
severance (Silvia, 2006). We hypothesize that the three resilience-promoting
factors will be positively associated with all three SVR measures of resilience.
Distress symptoms
War and terror attacks are highly painful events, which shake people’s basic
sense of security and give rise to posttraumatic symptoms. These symptoms
include delayed emotional and behavioral problems (Soffer-Dudek, 2016)
such as depression, anxiety, and grief (Hadi, Llabre, & Spitzer, 2006).
Sense of danger
Lazarus & Folkman (1984) claim that perceived postadversity distress and
assessment of stress-resistant resources reflect cognitive appraisals. A linger-
ing sense of danger, which may decrease individual resilience, plays a major
role in postwar adaptation (e.g., Scott, Poulin, & Cohen Silver, 2012).
Level of exposure
Exposure to terror attacks detrimentally affects resilience (Kimhi & Shamai,
2004). A higher level of exposure has been associated with a higher level of
distress symptoms (Besser et al., 2015). However, exposure to adversities
has not predicted dysfunction in some Israeli studies (Bleich, Gelkopf, &
Solomon, 2003). We hypothesize that exposure will be negatively associated
with all three SVR measures of resilience (keep in mind that sense of danger
and distress symptoms are part of the calculation of SVR and are not part of
the hypothesis).
This longitudinal design research is based on three repeated measures pertain-
ing to a recent wave of terror attacks, which took place in Israel. The first
measurement was conducted in a relatively peaceful period before the terror
wave, as a baseline for possible future traumatic events (July 2015, with three
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nonfatal casualties, and no deaths due to terror attacks). The second measure-
ment took place at the height of the wave, one month after the beginning of
the attacks (October 2015, during which the terror toll was 11 deaths and 80
nonfatal casualties); the third measurement was administered six months
later, toward a decline in the terror attacks (April 2016, 18 nonfatal terror
casualties). This wave of terror was mainly characterized by almost daily
stabbing attacks carried out by Palestinian individuals against Israeli Jews
(Information Center for Intelligence and Terrorism, 2015). Against this
background, the main purpose of this study was to examine individual, com-
munity, and national resilience of Israelis facing the threat of daily terror
attack, and to measure stability and change in their resilience and its
During the present wave of terror, most of our participants were exposed to
terror attacks via the media and not directly (Information Center for Intelli-
gence and Terrorism, 2015). In addition, the Israeli public has been living
with the intractable Arab-Israeli conflict for a long time, and is well aware that
future terror attacks may happen anytime and anywhere (Bleich et al., 2003).
We assumed accordingly that living with terror has helped the Israeli public to
develop a positive balance of strength and distress, which is not substantially
shaken by further acts of terror and resilience, and would remain stable across
the wave of terror. However due to scarcity of available research, this issue will
be examined as an open research question.
1. Resilience-promoting factors will be lower at the second measurement,
compared with the baseline level, and will return to baseline level at the
third measurement, while resilience-suppressing factors will be higher at
the second measurement, compared with both the first and the third
measurements, and will return to baseline level at the third measurement.
2. Resilience-promoting factors will significantly and positively predict SVR
resiliencies, while level of exposure will significantly and negatively predict
SVR resiliencies, across the three repeated measurements.
3. We will examine as an open question whether or not individual,
community, and national SVR resilience scores will remain stable across
the three repeated measurements.
Data collection and sampling
This longitudinal research compares civilian resilience in a relatively peaceful
time (June 2015) with resilience in a period of more intensive terror attacks
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(October 2015), and in a period of less intensive terror acts (April 2016). The
first measure included 1,022 Jewish Israeli adults, and the repeated second
measure was obtained from 740 (72%) of them who responded for the second
time. The third repeated measure included 561 participants (76% of the
second measure) who responded to the questionnaire for the third time,
and provided all the requested data (see participants’ details in Table 1).
The current research data are based on participants who responded to all
three measurements. Table 1 describes the demographic characteristics of
our participants.
Recruiting of participants was conducted by an Israeli online survey
research organization, which employs a panel of over 100,000 subjects, repre-
senting every geographic and demographic sector of Israel (http://www.ipanel.; for the validity of Internet questionnaires, see Gosling, Vazire,
Srivastava, & John, 2004). Data collection was carried out using an online
panel. The panelists were prerecruited to respond to surveys and were there-
fore willing and able to participate. The Internet organization uses the strati-
fied sampling method, based on data published by the Israeli Central Bureau
of Statistics, and determines quotas by age and gender. Each participant
signed an informed consent form. Tel Hai College Ethics committee approved
the questionnaire. A comparison of the demographic characteristics of the 561
Table 1. Distribution of demographic characteristics of investigated sample (N ¼561).
Variable Scale/range n %
Age 18–45 315 56.1
46–65 170 30.3
66–91 76 13.5
1–2 ¼elementary, high 55 10.0
3–4 ¼nonacademic 204 37.0
5–6 ¼university 292 53.0
Gender 1 ¼female 278 49.6
2 ¼male 283 50.4
Average family Income 1 ¼much less 115 20.5
2 ¼less 171 30.5
3 ¼average 163 29.1
4 ¼above 89 15.9
5 ¼much above 23 4.1
Political preference 1 ¼much right 60 10.7
2 ¼right 226 40.3
3 ¼center 202 36.0
4 ¼left 67 11.9
5 ¼much left 6 1.1
Religiosity 1 ¼secular 250 44.6
2 ¼traditional 198 35.3
3 ¼religious 54 11.4
4 ¼orthodox 49 8.7
Exposure to terror time 2 5–10 ¼low 486 86.6
11–15 ¼medium low 59 10.5
16–20 ¼medium high 13 2.3
21–25 ¼high 3 0.5
10 participants indicated “other” as their education level.
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respondents with the 282 participants, who did not respond to the second and
third administration of the questionnaire, indicated no significant differences
between the two groups.
Individual resilience
The present measure of individual resilience, “My Life Today,” is based on the
Recovery from War Scale (Kimhi & Eshel, 2009; Kimhi & Shamai, 2004). This
9-item self-report scale describes present individual strengths in the domains
of work, health, recreation, wider social contacts, achievements, family rela-
tions, daily functioning, relations with friends, and general assessment of
one’s life. The 6-point response scale ranges from 1 ¼not good at all to
6 ¼very good. The scale’s reliability for all three measurements was a ¼.91.
Distress symptoms
The Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI, Derogatis & Savitz, 2000), relating to
anxiety, depression, and somatization symptoms was used. This 18-item
inventory is scored on a Likert scale ranging from “not suffering at all” (1)
to “suffering very much” (5). The scale’s reliability in the three measurements
was a ¼.92.
Postwar recovery-to- distress symptoms ratio
IND-SVR resilience score was determined by dividing mean standardized
“My Life Today” score by mean standardized level of distress symptoms
(BSI) score.
Community resilience
A short version of the Conjoint Community Resiliency Assessment Measure
(Leykin, Lahad, Cohen, Goldberg, & Aharonson-Daniel, 2013) was employed.
This version included 10 items pertaining to identification with one’s
community (“I am proud to tell people where I live”), trust in municipal
authorities, and confidence in the community’s ability to withstand adversi-
ties. The 5-point response scale ranged from 1 ¼does not agree at all,
to 5 ¼totally agrees. The scale’s reliabilities in the three measurements were
a ¼.91 and a ¼.92.
Sense of danger
The Sense of Danger Scale (Solomon & Prager, 1992) pertaining to postwar
perceived personal, familial, and national danger was employed (e.g., “To
what extent are you afraid that Israel will encounter future acts of terror?”).
This six-item instrument was rated on a Likert-like scale ranging from
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1 (not at all) to 5 (very much). The scale’s reliabilities ranged between a ¼.85
and a ¼.92.
Community strength to vulnerability ratio (COM-SVR)
COM-SVR resilience was determined by the standardized community resili-
ence score divided by the standardized sense of danger score.
National resilience assessment scale (NRAS)
The NRAS scale is based on Kimhi, Goroshit, and Eshel (2013). The scale
includes 25 items and refers to trust in leadership, trust in the Israeli Defense
Forces, patriotism, optimism, and trust in major national institutions. The
6-point response scale ranged from 1 ¼(very strongly disagree) to 6 ¼(very
strongly agree); for example, “I love Israel and feel proud to be an Israeli.”
The scale’s reliability in each of the three measurements was a ¼.92.
National strength-to-vulnerability ratio (NAT-SVR)
Standardized NRAS scores divided by standardized sense of danger scores
determined this scale.
Sense of coherence (SOC)
A scale devised by Antonovsky (1993) measured SOC. Responses to this
13-item instrument were rated on a 7-point scale. For example, answers to
the item “Doing the things you do every day is” ranged from (1) “a source
of pain and boredom” to (7) “a source of deep pleasure and satisfaction.”
Validity and reliability data for this scale are presented in Antonovsky
(1993). The scale’s reliabilities in the three measurements were a ¼.83, .85
and .86 respectively.
Social support
Social support was measured using the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived
Social Support (Zimmet, Dahlin, Zimmet, & Farley, 1988). The scale consists
of 12 items rated on a 7-point Likert scale (1 ¼totally disagree and 7 ¼totally
agree). Cronbach’s alpha was .95 in the three present measurements.
The General Self-Efficacy Scale (Jerusalem & Schwarzer, 1992) was employed.
This 10-item self-rating scale assesses perceived successful coping (e.g., “I can
always manage to solve difficult problems if I try hard enough”), and is posi-
tively correlated with level of perseverance (Silvia, 2006). A four-point
response scale was employed with 1 ¼not at all true, and 4 ¼completely true.
In samples from 23 nations, Cronbach’s alphas ranged from 0.76 to 0.90. The
scale’s reliability in the three measurements was a ¼.92.
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Level of exposure
Level of exposure to terror adversities was examined by a questionnaire based
on an instrument devised by Heath, Hall, Russ, Canetti, & Hobfoll (2012),
which pertains to being negatively impacted by acts of terror or war in the last
year. The sum of these five items determined exposure score. Previous
research has found that higher exposure to adversity is associated with higher
stress (Shamai, & Kimhi, 2007).
As a first step, we calculated Pearson correlations among the research
variables (Table 2). Results indicated that the three resilience indices corre-
lated significantly (p < .05) and positively with resilience-promoting factors
and significantly and negatively with resilience-suppressing factors, across
the three measurements.
Our first hypothesis was examined by GLM (General Linear Model
Repeated Measures, provides both univariate and multivariate analyses)
conducted for the three resilience SVR scores, resilience-promoting and
suppressing factors (Table 3). Results indicated the following: (a) SOC signifi-
cantly decreased from measurement one to two (p < .000) and increased from
measurement two to three (p ¼.03). Both linear and quadratic main effects
were significant (Partial Eta squares ¼.013 and .000 respectively). (b) Social
support as well as self-efficacy did not change significantly across the three
measurements. These results only partially support our second hypothesis
Table 2. Pearson correlations among individual, community and national resilience, promoting
and suppressing factors across three measurements (N ¼561).
Variables Time of measurement IND-SVR COM-SVR NAT-SVR
SOC t1 Base line .565*** .277*** .293***
t2 October 15 .553*** .334*** .348***
t3 April 16 .631*** .363*** .349***
Social support t2 .555*** .252*** .162***
t2 .557*** .183*** .089*
t3 .619*** .259*** .122**
Self-efficacy t2 .391*** .148*** .160***
t2 .422*** .173*** .126***
t3 .397*** .188*** .130***
Distress symptoms t2
–.316*** –.333***
t2 –.416*** –.428***
t3 –.365*** –.343***
Sense of danger t2 –.303***
t2 –.344***
t3 –.273***
Level of exposure t2 –.232*** –.167*** –.186***
t2 –.337*** –.261*** –.312***
t3 –.201*** –.225*** –.242***
Note. *p < .05, **p < .01, ***p < .001.
Cells are empty due to the fact that variables appear in the calculation
of SVR.
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regarding resilience-promoting factors. (c) All three suppressing factors
significantly (p < .001) changed across the three measurements: Distress
symptoms were significantly higher at the second measurement, compared
with baseline level and significantly lower at the third measurement,
compared with both the first and second measurement. Sense of danger
was significantly higher at the second measurement, compared with baseline
level, and similar to baseline at the third measurement. Exposure to terror
experience was significantly higher at the third measurement compared with
the first and the second measurements. These results mainly supported our
first hypothesis regarding resilience-suppressing factors.
To examine our second hypothesis and to clarify the relative importance of
promoting factors and level of exposure, we launched a path analysis
(Arbuckle, 2009): SOC, social support, self-efficacy, and exposure at T1
predicting individual, community and national resilience SVR in each of
the three measurements (saturated models, which examine all paths and
correlations, see Table 4 and Figure 1). We did not examine distress
symptoms and sense of danger since they served as denominators for the
calculation of SVR.
Results indicated the following: (a) SOC significantly and positively pre-
dicted individual, community, and national resilience SVR (p < .001) across
the three repeated measurements. SOC is the best predictor of individual,
community, and national resilience at each of the three measurements (except
that social support predicted individual and community resilience at baseline
level). (b) Social support significantly and positively predicted individual and
community resilience across the three repeated measurements (except for
Table 3. General linear model—thrice-repeated measure: SVR resilience, resilience-promoting,
and suppressing factors (N ¼561).
Variable/Measurement First Second Third F ή
IND-SVR M 1.079 1.075 1.073 .110 .000
SD .397 .393 .390
COM-SVR M 1.068 1.074 1.074 .129 .000
SD .390 .408 .406
NAT-SVR M 1.075 1.081 1.087 .387 .001
SD .406 .429 .441
SOC M 5.058
71.008*** .113
SD .981 .872 .982
Social support M 4.926 4.905 4.918 .232 .000
SD .994 1.069 1.028
Self-efficacy M 3.253 3.255 3.276 1.406 .002
SD .548 .560 .560
Distress symptoms M 1.511
21.342*** .037
SD .509 .539 .503
Sense of danger M 2.298
43.971*** .074
SD .732 .770 .717
Exposure to terror M 6.916
44.441*** .074
SD 2.664 2.658 2.856
Note. ***p < .001.
a, b, c
Adjustment for multiple comparisons: Bonferroni.
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community resilience in October), but was almost unrelated to national
resilience. (c) Self-efficacy significantly and positively predicted individual
resilience in July and October (p < .001). Self-efficacy did not predict
community or national resilience at all three measurements. (d) As expected,
the resilience-promoting psychological factors explained a much higher
percentage of individual resilience variance (about 50%) compared with
community (9% to 16%) and national resilience (8% to 16%). (e) Interestingly,
the examined four variables predicted higher levels of resilience during the
height of the terror attacks (second measurement).
To examine our research question, we calculated Pearson correlations among
the three SVR scores across the three measurements. No significant changes
were found for IND-SVR, COM-SVR, or NAT-SVR across the three repeated
measures. In other words, our results indicated that individual, community,
and national resilience remain stable cross the three repeated measurements.
Table 4. General model of promoting factors and exposure as predictors of resilience SVR
indices: Beta values for thrice-repeated measurements and percent of explained variance.
Paths Overall % of explained variance (R2)
Predictor t1
Predicted model
path1 t1 July t2 October t3 April t1 t2 t3
SOC 1-IND-SVR .231*** .539*** .485*** IND-SVR .507 .581 .485
2-COM-SVR .124** .357*** .240*** COM-SVR .095 .168 .109
3-NAT-SVR .190*** .387*** .274* NAT-SVR .078 .161 .091
Social support 4-IND-SVR .514*** .327** .278***
5-COM-SVR .240*** .096 .107*
6-NAT-SVR .097* –.006 –.012
Self-efficacy 7- IND-SVR .139*** .053 .071
8-COM-SVR .012 –.025 .023
9-NAT-SVR .069 –.031 –.007
Exposure 10-IND-SVR –.064* –.093 –.119***
11-COM-SVR .034 -.083 -.092*
12-NAT-SVR –.004 –.094 –.103*
Note. *p < .05, **p < .01, ***p < .001.
Numbers represent the path in Figure 1.
Figure 1. General model of promoting factors and exposure as predictors of individual,
community, and national resilience SVR indices.
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We examine three main issues in our study: First, we examined resilience-
promoting and suppressing factors as predictors and correlates of the three
modes of resilience. Second, we examined the prediction of sense of
coherence, social support, self-efficacy, and level of exposure (controlling
for each other) for the three modes of resilience across the three repeated
measurements. Third, we examined stability versus changes of individual,
community, and national resilience under three different intensity levels of
terror attacks.
Our data regarding promoting and suppressing factors supported previous
studies that validated the IND-SVR, COM-SVR, and NAT-SVR measures by
demonstrating their positive correlations with resilience-promoting factors,
and their negative associations with resilience-suppressing factors (Eshel &
Kimhi, 2016; Eshel & Majdoob, 2014). The present data show that all three
SVR scores were significantly and negatively correlated with the three
suppressing factors (distress symptom, sense of danger, and exposure) and
significantly and positively with the three promoting factors (SOC, social
support, and self-efficacy).
Our results corroborate earlier studies indicating that SOC significantly
predicts measures of resilience (Braun-Lewensohn & Sagy, 2014; Ebert,
Tucker, & Roth, 2002; Eshel & Kimhi, 2015). SOC is a general perspective
on life, which functions as a psychologically based stress-resistance resource,
constituting a major determinant of one’s ability to cope with harsh events
such as war (Antonovsky, 1987). Accordingly, SOC positively correlated with
IND-SVR, COM-SVR, NAT-SVR, and individual, community, and national
resilience scale scores, and negatively correlated with exposure to terror acts.
In addition, our results regarding social support corroborate other studies that
emphasize the importance of social support in coping with stress situations
(El-Ghoroury, Galper, Sawaqdeh, & Bufka, 2012). It may be assumed that
stability of social support contributes to the stability of individual resilience.
Results also indicated that the three resilience-promoting variables (SOC,
social support, and self-efficacy) better explained variance of individual
resilience SVR, compared with community and national resilience SVR. This
finding may be explained by the fact that individual resilience is a personal
characteristic, whereas community and national resiliencies refer to people’s
feelings about the management of larger groups. It appears that other charac-
teristics, such as community type, level of religiosity, and age, will constitute
better predictors of public resiliency (e.g., Kimhi, Goroshit & Eshel, 2013).
In addition, our study indicated an impressive stability of SVR resilience,
which did not change much across the three measurements: before the wave
of terror occurred, at the height of this terror wave, and its decline (Bleich,
Gelkopf, & Solomon, 2003). This stability was maintained in spite of the
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finding that SOC (but not social support and self-efficacy), distress symptoms,
sense of danger, and level of exposure had changed significantly throughout
this wave of terror attacks. Bonanno, Romero, and Klein, 2015 have claimed
that the majority of people are resilient since they generally exhibit a stable
trajectory of healthy functioning across time, and return to a normal level
of daily activities a short time after a potentially traumatic event. The present
data show that, in accord with our theoretical analysis, adult Israeli Jews have
developed a high level of habituation to living with this terror. The present
data do not show that most of the participants have become resilient following
potentially traumatic events. They do show that regardless of being more
or less resilient, they have managed to maintain their characteristic level of
resilience despite pronounced threats of terror.
An additional explanation for the stability of resilience is the fact that terror
attacks directly affected only a very small number of people, and most of our
participants were exposed to this wave of terror via the media. The data indicate
that the mean scores of exposure in the three measurements did not exceed the
eight levels on a scale ranging from 5 to 25. We assume that a higher level of
threat (such as war or a major national disaster) would result in higher stability
of the SVR ratios. Further longitudinal studies following national adversity
should be conducted in order to support this assumption.
Among the limitations of this study, we may mention the following: First, this
longitudinal study is based on a rather short interval between the measure-
ments (about 10 months). A longer interval might have yielded different
results. Second, by definition, waves of terror have direct effects on a relatively
small number of people. It is quite possible that a full-scale war would have
resulted in a greater impact on resilience SVR scores. Third, the present data
are based on a sample that was reached by Internet. This fact may have biased
the representativeness of our sample.
Despite these limitations, we believe that this study has three major strengths.
First, the data present perhaps the first longitudinal evidence that people tend
to retain their characteristic level of individual, community, and national resili-
ence, despite dramatic changes in the level of terror which they experience.
Second, our data supported the role of resilience-promoting and suppressing
factors across three repeated measures. Third, the study substantiates the role
of SVR resilience indices as effective measures of individual, community, and
national resilience. These findings call for a new perspective on the nature of
resilience, and how it should be determined in future research.
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This study was supported by a grant from the Israeli Trauma Coalition.
Notes on contributors
Prof. Shaul Kimhi, PhD, is a full professor of psychology and head of the Master’s Studies
Program, Psychology Department, Tel Hai College, Israel.
Yohanan Eshel is an associate professor at Tel Hai College. His domains of research are
psychological resilience and educational psychology.
Mr. Dmitry Leykin, PhD, is a student at the Recanati School for Community Health Profes-
sions, Department of Emergency Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University
of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel. He is a head of psychology labs at Tel Hai College, Israel.
Prof. Mooli Lahad, PhD, is a full professor of psychology and drama therapy at Tel Hai
College, as well as founder and president of the Community Stress Prevention Center Kiryat
Shemona, Israel.
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... Cercetătorii din domeniul științelor sociale l-au preluat și l-au popularizat (Holling, 1973) iar în acest moment acest concept descrie capacitatea indivizilor sau comunităților, națiunilor, de a se adapta în mod eficient stresului sau adversității (Bonanno et al., 2015). Reziliența, în cadrul științelor sociale, și cu predilecție în cele psihosociale, este înțeleasă în acest moment ca un concept multinivel, cuprinzând cel puțin nivelul individului, cel al comunității și cel al națiunii (Kimhi et al., 2017). Pe lângă această abordare multinivel, în ultimele decenii, o altă schimbare s-a produs: în studiul rezilienței s-a trecut de la "identificarea factorilor de risc care pot conduce la probleme psihosociale" către "identificarea aspectelor pozitive", a factorilor protectivi, care pot să permită indivizilor, comunităților și națiunilor să depășească și chiar să prospere în momentele dificile (Richardson, 2002: 309). ...
... Cu toate acestea, studii realizate în Marea Britanie au evidențiat existența unor corelații negative între cele trei niveluri de reziliență (Ryan, Ioannou, și Parmak, 2018); -unele variabile socio-demografice pot explica toate cele trei niveluri de reziliență: de exemplu un nivel de expunere la evenimente potențial traumatice mai ridicat, împreună cu un nivel socio-economic mai scăzut, conduc de cele mai multe ori la niveluri mai scăzute de reziliență. În plus, reziliența comunitară și națională au fost asociate cu nivelul de religiozitate și cu vârsta (Kimhi et al., 2018); -Se pare că cele trei niveluri de reziliență explică în mod semnificativ nivelul de stare de bine a individului, precum și o bună adaptare și o gestionare eficientă a împrejurărilor potrivnice (Kimhi et al., 2017). ...
... Mai multe studii realizate în Israel au examinat reziliența comunitară în contextul amenințărilor de securitate (terorism și război): (a) Kimhi și Shamai (2006) au descoperit faptul că un nivel mai ridicat de reziliență comunitară corelează semnificativ cu niveluri mai scăzute de simptome de stres și niveluri mai ridicate de satisfacție a vieții. (b) Shamai și Kimhi (2007) Kimhi et al. (2017) au folosit măsurători longitudinale și repetate ale rezilienței individuale, comunitare și naționale care au coincis cu ultima situație de conflict armat din Israel. Rezultatele indică faptul că, după reziliență, factorii protectori precum suportul social și autoeficacitatea percepută au explicat în mod constant și semnificativ reziliența comunitară. ...
... This shows that individual resilience needs to be built, supported and strengthened through the various components present in the microsystems that surround the individual. Supporting previous findings that mention that the strength component of an individual's resilience is determined by their satisfaction with their daily lives (Kimhi, Eshel, Leykin, & Lahad, 2017). These indicators of individual resilience are positively predicted by a sense of coherence, selfefficacy, and social support (Eshel, Kimhi, Lahad, Leykin, & Goroshit, 2018). ...
Individual resilience is an important ability that must be possessed by assisted residents to respond adaptively to the difficulties they experience while in prison and when leaving prison. The purpose of this study is to explore how the individual resilience of the assisted residents is strengthened through an independence coaching program carried out at the Tasikmalaya City Class IIB Prison. This research uses a descriptive method with a qualitative approach. The sample determination technique is carried out using purpossive sampling techniques. Data collection techniques are carried out through field observations, in-depth interviews, and documentation studies. The results showed that strengthening individual resilience through self-reliance development programs implemented in prisons has an impact on the stronger level of trust, spirituality, internal control and external control. Meanwhile, in the context of self-efficacy and self-esteem, it has not been seen as prominent in strengthening the individual resilience of the fostered residents.
... For instance, Peace Direct, an international organization working for sustainable peace across the globe, contends that "peace education activities promote the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that will help people either to prevent the occurrence of conflict, resolve conflicts peacefully, or create social conditions conducive to peace" (n.d.). Therefore, peace education plays an important role in building resilience in children and young adults against the effects of trauma and violent extremism (Kimhi et al., 2017). The main focus of this study is to assess pre-service teachers" training in Pakistan vis-à-vis civic, peace, and tolerance education (i.e., peace education). ...
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The key objective of this research was to establish an evidence-based study about current teaching practices; focusing on the key elements of teaching methods used in pre-service education programs that can build resilience against (violent) extremism. One of the principles underpinning training young teachers is to help prepare and equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge to practice peace education. The qualitative data was collected from teachers engaged in the education programs. In total 15 semi-structured interviews were conducted in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Wah Cantonment, and six major cities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province, Pakistan. The study argues that in order to ensure resilient teachers and trainers, the Bachelors of Education degree (B.Ed) program needs to offer both specialist skills and a theoretical understanding of peace, civic, and tolerance education. Such a result-orientated focus can enhance the effectiveness of the existing education programs in Pakistan vis-à-vis resilience towards (violent) extremism.
... Evidence also established a link between community resilience and social responsibility. For example, past studies showed that providing support to fellow community members was positively associated with community resilience during natural disasters [51] and terror attacks [52]. One noticeable limitation in the literature is the lack of studies examining community resilience, social responsibility, and positive mental health in one coherent model. ...
The present study examined the measurement and antecedents of positive mental health in people who concurrently experienced two disasters of different nature (i.e., typhoons and COVID-19 crisis), focusing on the survivors of typhoons Vamco and Goni that hit the Philippines in November 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic. First, we investigated the psychometric properties of Mental Health Continuum-Short Form (MHC-SF), a well-validated measure of positive mental health dimensions including emotional, social, and psychological well-being, by: 1) comparing the structural validity of three measurement models including a single-factor, bifactor, and three-factor solutions of positive mental health; 2) looking into the criterion validity through correlating the MHC-SF subscales with relevant measures; and 3) calculating for item reliability. Second, we examined the mediating role of social responsibility in the positive influence of community resilience on the three dimensions of positive mental health. Using 447 participants, with ages ranging from 18 to 70 years old, confirmatory factor analysis showed that compared to the single-factor and the bifactor models, the intercorrelated three-factor model of MHC-SF has the best model fit and most stable factor loadings. MHC-SF subscales correlated with relevant measures indicating criterion validity and yielded excellent internal consistency for all subscales. Additionally, results showed that social responsibility mediated the positive impact of community resilience on emotional, social, and psychological well-being of Filipinos in times of great adversities. The findings were discussed within the context of extreme weather events and the COVID-19 crisis in the Philippines, highlighting implications on disaster preparedness and mental health policies at the community level.
... Recent studies have also shown that the perceived danger of COVID-19 may escalate stress (Sica et al., 2021;Wang et al., 2020b) and will vary according to contextual differences, including age, gender, and community size (Kimhi et al., 2020). The impact of psychological distress on perceived danger towards adversity among may be particularly marked in youth populations (Braun-Lewensohn & Al-Sayed, 2018;Kimhi et al., 2017). ...
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Despite a wide base of research suggesting a major role for dysfunctional metacognitions in contributing to anxiety, their role in explaining psychological distress in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic remains unclear. In this study we investigated whether metacognitions would predict anxiety, while controlling for fear and perceived danger of COVID-19. A total of 862 individuals were included in this study. Participants completed sociodemographic questions, emotional state questions relating to COVID-19, the Metacognitions Questionnaire‐30, and the Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7. Results showed that both negative beliefs about thoughts concerning uncontrollability and danger, and cognitive self-consciousness were significant predictors of anxiety beyond the fear and perceived danger of COVID-19. Future studies involving clinical populations are needed to investigate the longer-term impact of metacognitions in the maintenance and exacerbation of anxiety associated with the fear and perceived danger of COVID-19.
Research indicates that stress increased across the globe after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Community resilience has been suggested as a central protective factor for stress related to disasters and emergency crises. This study examined the contribution of community resilience reported three years prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, together with related worries and personal risk factors, to perceived stress among Israeli adults following the first wave of COVID-19 in Israel. We performed a two-period 3-year longitudinal study (Period 1 [P1]: July–September 2017; Period 2: [P2] May–June 2020). The final sample included 578 participants. Participants completed a community resilience self-report questionnaire during P1 as well as measures regarding perceived stress and COVID-19 worries during P2. Using linear hierarchical regression, we tested the additional explanatory effect of community resilience and found it to be negatively associated with perceived stress. While health-related worries were not significantly associated with perceived stress, worries related to the functioning of governmental and health institutions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic were significantly associated with perceived stress. Additionally, being single, living in a smaller residence and income reduction during the pandemic predicted higher perceived stress. The current study highlights the potential buffering role of community resilience in protecting against COVID-19 stress. Assessing community resilience may help identify vulnerable groups, and focusing on community building may be an effective strategy to mitigate stress in future disasters.
Objective This study aimed to investigate the effects of disaster trauma, disaster conflict, and economic loss on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and to verify the moderating effect of personal and community resilience in these relationships. The data of 1914 people, aged 20 or above, who had experienced natural disasters (earthquake, typhoon, flooding) were used. Methods Hayes’s (2013) PROCESS macro (Model 1) was conducted to verify the moderation effect of personal and community resilience between PTSD and disaster trauma, disaster conflict, and economic loss. Results Disaster trauma, disaster conflict, and economic loss were found to be positively related to PTSD. Personal and community resilience were negatively related to PTSD. Resilience had a moderating effect on the relationship between disaster trauma, economic loss, and PTSD. However, there was no moderating effect on the relationship between disaster conflict and PTSD. Community resilience had a moderating effect on the relationship between economic loss and PTSD. However, there was no moderating effect on the relationship between disaster trauma, disaster conflict, and PTSD. Conclusions The results suggest that personal and community resilience could be used for prevention and therapeutic interventions for disaster victims who experience PTSD.
We present three studies that examine the relationship between perceptions about public personnel management and social resilience during a crisis among frontline public healthcare servants who battled the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on theories of public personnel management, crisis management, trust, and resilience, we suggest a model and hypotheses that may extend our knowledge about perceived social resilience, both internal (organizational) and external (communal and national). We tested our model with the results of an online survey conducted in early 2021 among 437 healthcare employees from the Ministry of Health ( n 1 = 87), hospitals ( n 2 = 200), and Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs; n 3 = 150) across Israel. The findings generally support direct and indirect relationships between perceptions of good public personnel management, defined as healthcare system resilience, participation in decision-making and information sharing, and group-level organizational citizenship behavior, and perceived national and community resilience, and trust. Implications, extensions, and recommendations for future theoretical and empirical studies are discussed along with practical proposals.
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Humans will always face challenges that interfere with their course of life. Their responses to face those challenges or resilience are varied, depending on environmental aspects. The discussion on resilience is used to understand the reasons why individuals can be more resistant to challenges than other individuals. The aspect that influences and forms resilience is the environment. One form of the influential environment is the environment in which humans are born or reside. The demographic characteristics of the Indonesian region are one form of the physical environment which is divided by geography (West Indonesia, Central Indonesia, and East Indonesia) and by type of administrative area (District and Municipalities). This study employed a quantitative approach to measure the construct validity of the CCRAM instrument which has been translated into Indonesian. This study involved 518 people (N = 518) as participants who came from three regions of Indonesia, namely East, Central, and West Indonesia. The research instrument was a questionnaire containing statements/items related to community resilience. After the data were collected online, Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) was conducted to check the validity of each item on each dimension/construct. The results indicate that all dimensions and items were declared to meet the fit or valid criteria.
Experiment Findings
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Abstract The present study examined the components of resilience among majority and minority groups in the Israeli society during the corona crisis (the Omicron variant). We examined factors that support resilience [societal (ex national) resilience, individual resilience, hope, morale, and optimism] and factors that inhibit resilience (anxiety symptoms, depressive symptoms, sense of danger, and perception of varied threats). In addition, we examined attitudes and adherence to COVID-19 vaccines as well as the willingness to vaccinate children. The most prominent results are: A. In the present study, the Jewish respondents reported significantly higher levels of national resilience, trust in state institutions, individual resilience, and morale compared to the Arab respondents. B. Arab respondents reported a significantly higher sense of danger, anxiety symptoms, and depressive symptoms, compared to the Jewish respondents. C. The Jewish respondents reported that they perceive the following threats as more threatening, compared with the Arab respondents: the political situation in Israel, the security threat in the region (due to the threats from Hezbollah and Hamas), and the Iranian nuclear threat. D. The Arab respondents viewed the violence in the Israeli society, the economic situation, and the health threat, as more threatening, compared to the Jewish respondents. E. In comparison to the findings of the current study with those of a similar study conducted in March 2020, the following factors were found: • Societal resilience, sense of danger, anxiety symptoms, and depressive symptoms, were lower in the current study, compared to the March 2020 study in both samples. • Individual resilience was found to be similar in both studies in both samples. • Morale was higher in the present study, in both samples. F. Jewish respondents reported that they are more supportive of the various corona guidelines - wearing masks indoors and presenting the green pass, compared to the Arab respondents. G. Significant gender differences were found concerning most of the study variables, among the Jewish respondents: men reported higher individual resilience, morale, and optimism, compared with women. Women reported a higher sense of danger and higher anxiety and depression symptoms, compared to men. H. In the Arab sample, no significant differences between the genders were found concerning these study variables. J. Parents in both samples evaluate the negative effect on young children (ages 5–12) as more severe, compared with children aged 13–18.
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A new definition of national resilience (NR) is developed, based on strength to vulnerability ratio (perceived NR divided by sense of danger). Four resilience-promoting variables predict components of this NR: gender, religiosity, political attitudes, and level of exposure to war. The study was conducted 4 months after the 2014 Israel-Gaza war. The sample comprised a total of 510 Jewish Israeli civilians (age range 18–85 years): 251 live in southern Israel and were threatened by this war and 259 live in northern Israel and were not threatened by this war. Results showed that the 4 predictors indeed predicted components of NR. The explained variance of NR determined by the strength to vulnerability ratio was higher than the explained variance of a conventional measure of this resilience. No significant differences were found in NR between the 2 samples. The advantages of the new definition of NR are discussed.
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Abstract A new concept of community resilience pertaining to the community’s post adversity strength to vulnerability ratio was associated with five determinants: individual resilience, national resilience, well-being, community size, and sense of coherence. The data was collected four months after Israel’s war in the Gaza Strip in 2014. Participants were 251 adult civilians living in southern Israel who have recently been threatened by massive missile attacks, and 259 adults living in northern Israel, which has not been under missile fire recently. The investigated variables predicted community resilience, and their effects were mediated by sense of coherence. Results which were similar for both samples were discussed in terms of the nature of resilience and in terms of proximal and distal exposure to war.
Full-text available
A new concept of community resilience pertaining to the community's post adversity strength to vulnerability ratio was associated with five determinants: individual resilience, national resilience, well-being, community size, and sense of coherence. The data was collected four months after Israel's war in the Gaza Strip in 2014. Participants were 251 adult civilians living in southern Israel who have recently been threatened by massive missile attacks, and 259 adults living in northern Israel, which has not been under missile fire recently. The investigated variables predicted community resilience, and their effects were mediated by sense of coherence. Results which were similar for both samples were discussed in terms of the nature of resilience and in terms of proximal and distal exposure to war.
Full-text available
Psychological resilience has become a popular concept. Owing to that popularity, the word resilience has taken on myriad and often overlapping meanings. To be a useful framework for psychological research and theory, the authors argue, the study of resilience must explicitly reference each of four constituent temporal elements: (a) baseline or preadversity functioning, (b) the actual aversive circumstances, (c) postadversity resilient outcomes, and (d) predictors of resilient outcomes. Using this framework to review the existing literature, the most complete body of evidence is available on individual psychological resilience in children and adults. By contrast, the research on psychological resilience in families and communities is far more limited and lags well behind the rich theoretical perspective available from those literatures. The vast majority of research on resilience in families and communities has focused primarily on only one temporal element, possible predictors of resilient outcomes. Surprisingly, however, almost no scientific evidence is actually available for community or family resilient outcomes. We close by suggesting that there is room for optimism and that existing methods and measures could be relatively easily adapted to help fill these gaps. To that end, we propose a series of steps to guide future research.
Unusual sleep and dream experiences-such as elevated dream recall, nightmares, hypnagogic hallucinations, flying dreams, or waking dreams-constitute a trait of atypical nocturnal cognitions that has been associated with life stress and psychopathological distress, as well as terrorism-related stress. In the present study, this trait was explored as a predictor of psychopathological distress following Israel's 2012 "Operation Pillar of Defense" by employing a prospective-longitudinal design. Fifty-three participants, for whom baseline data on psychopathology, sleep, and dreaming were previously assessed, were contacted again in the week following the conclusion of the Operation. They filled out questionnaires regarding sleep experiences, psychopathological distress, the degree of exposure to terrorism, dissociative experiences, and sleep quality. An elevation in psychopathological symptoms, from pre- to post-Operation measurements, was predicted by degree of exposure to terrorism, but also by pre-Operation sleep experiences. This effect of unusual dreaming in prospectively predicting psychopathological reactions to terrorism-related stress was also replicated when reanalyzing existing longitudinal data from a previous study on exposure to terrorism. These novel findings point to the importance of individual differences in nocturnal cognition as clinical indicators of risk for stress reactivity and psychopathology in the face of traumatic stress.
Psychologists have always been intrigued in interest, and modern research on interest can be found in nearly every area of the field: researchers studying emotions, cognition, development, education, aesthetics, personality, motivation, and vocations have developed intriguing ideas about what interest is and how it works. This book presents an integrated picture of how interest has been studied in all of the wide-ranging areas of psychology. Using modern theories of cognition and emotion as an integrative framework, it examines the nature of interest, what makes things interesting, the role of interest in personality, and the development of people's idiosyncratic interests, hobbies, and avocations. The examination reveals deep similarities between seemingly different fields of psychology and illustrates the profound importance of interest, curiosity, and intrinsic motivation for understanding why people do what they do. A comprehensive work devoted to interest, this book reviews the history of psychological thought on interest, presents classic and modern research, and suggests fruitful directions for future work.