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The Exposure to Traumatic Experiences Among the Palestinian Students in the West Bank

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The current study aims to investigate the long-term effects of war and occupation among Palestinian children in West Bank.The situation in the West Bank is uncommon in the frequency with which children are exposed to war-related traumatic events on a daily basis and because of the long-term nature of the conflict. The study sample was basic school students in West Bank; that consisted of 537 students; 242 (45%) were males and 295 (55%) were females and the mean of age in the sample was (14.8 ± 1.12). There were 341 (64%) of the students from villages and there were 196 (36%) students from cities. The participants completed a Checklist of Traumatic Experiences (CTE).The study found that almost every Palestinian child of the sample had been exposed traumatic experiences (chronic trauma). There is more than 22% of the participants exposes from 11 – 15 traumatic experiences from the total 34 traumatic experiences; such as any of your friends, neighbours, or relatives been injured by the occupying forces, inhaling tear gas, any of your friends, neighbours, or relatives been killed by occupying forces, witnessed anyone being arrested by the occupying forces, and the occupied forces used your house, block, camp, or zone as a cordon. Also, the study found that males are more exposed to traumatic experiences than females; moreover, there were significant differences between residences; students from villages are more exposed to traumatic experiences than cities.The study provides valuable evidence that demographic and socioeconomic factors mediate the relationship between different war traumatic events. Interventions should take into account the children’s background including their gender, age, where they live, and their socioeconomic status (e.g., family income, parents’ educational level, family size) to alleviate the psychological symptoms and to enhance their resilience.
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ABSTRACT
The current study aims to investigate the long-term effects of war and occupation among Palestinian children in West
Bank.The situation in the West Bank is uncommon in the frequency with which children are exposed to war-related
traumatic events on a daily basis and because of the long-term nature of the conict. The study sample was basic
school students in West Bank; that consisted of 537 students; 242 (45%) were males and 295 (55%) were females
and the mean of age in the sample was (14.8 ± 1.12). There were 341 (64%) of the students from villages and there
were 196 (36%) students from cities. The participants completed a Checklist of Traumatic Experiences (CTE).The
study found that almost every Palestinian child of the sample had been exposed traumatic experiences (chronic
trauma). There is more than 22% of the participants exposes from 11 - 15 traumatic experiences from the total 34
traumatic experiences; such as any of your friends, neighbours, or relatives been injured by the occupying forces,
inhaling tear gas, any of your friends, neighbours, or relatives been killed by occupying forces, witnessed anyone
being arrested by the occupying forces, and the occupied forces used your house, block, camp, or zone as a cordon.
Also, the study found that males are more exposed to traumatic experiences than females; moreover, there were
signicant differences between residences; students from villages are more exposed to traumatic experiences than
cities.The study provides valuable evidence that demographic and socioeconomic factors mediate the relationship
between different war traumatic events. Interventions should take into account the children’s background including
their gender, age, where they live, and their socioeconomic status (e.g., family income, parents' educational level,
family size) to alleviate the psychological symptoms and to enhance their resilience.
KEY WORDS: TRAUMATIC EXPERIENCES, YOUTH, PALESTINE, COLLECTIVE TRAUMA, CTE.
The Exposure to Traumatic Experiences Among the
Palestinian Students in the West Bank
Shadi Khalil Abualkibash
1Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, An-Najah National University, Nablus, Palestine,
Psychological
Communication
1510
ARTICLE INFORMATION
*Corresponding Author: shadi.k@najah.edu
Received 12th July 2020 Accepted after revision 15th Sep 2020
Print ISSN: 0974-6455 Online ISSN: 2321-4007 CODEN: BBRCBA
Thomson Reuters ISI Web of Science Clarivate Analytics USA and
Crossref Indexed Journal
NAAS Journal Score 2020 (4.31) SJIF: 2020 (7.728)
A Society of Science and Nature Publication,
Bhopal India 2020. All rights reserved
Online Contents Available at: http//www.bbrc.in/
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21786/bbrc/13.3/78
Biosc.Biotech.Res.Comm. Vol 13 (3) July-Aug-Sep 2020 Pp-1510-1519
INTRODUCTION
For more than half a century, Palestinians have suffered
from various levels of traumatic experiences. Since
the beginning of the second Intifada, which began
in September 2000, the Palestinian people have been
exposed to violence. The Palestinian nation suffers from
traumatic events imposed by armed and/or military
violence together with restriction of movement through
checkpoints, closures and curfews. Traumatic events such
as shootings, bombings, destruction of houses, elds,
physical violence and deaths occur on a daily basis, El-
Khodary Samara 2019a & 2019b).The Palestinian children
who are part of the society living under occupation
suffer from insomnia, fear of the dark, phobias,
depression, bedwetting, social withdrawal, negative
social-interaction, aggressive behaviour, forgetfulness
and truancy from school. These indicators reveal that
it is almost impossible to have a normal childhood
in Palestine under the current circumstances and it is
affecting their future psychological well-being (Altawil,
2008, El-Khodary Samara 2019a & 2019b).
Abualkibash
traumatic war experiences and events is a risk factor
for the development of post-traumatic stress disorder
(PTSD), grief, and depression. The exposure to traumatic
events, specically physical injuries, loss of loved ones,
immediate risk of life, injury of a family member or
friend and losing a family member are the strongest risk
factors for PTSD (El-Khodary Samara 2019a & 2019b).
Individuals or groups exposed to traumatic experiences
generally demonstrate some form of stress that is why
it is often referred to as traumatic stress. Responses
of Traumatic stress has been widely researched by a
psychologists; (Awadh, Vance, El-Beblawi, & Pumariega,
1998; Barber, 2009; Benjamin & Crawford-Browne,
2010; Bonanno, 2004; Breslau, Davis, & Andreski, 1995;
Daniel, Jane, & Ann, 2005; Elbedour, Onwuegbuzie,
Ghannam, Whitcome, & Hein, 2007; Espié et al., 2009,
Palosaari, Punamäki, Diab, & Qouta, 2013; Stevens, Eagle,
Kaminer, & Higson-Smith, 2013; Thabet, Abu Tawahina,
El Sarraj, & Vostanis, 2008; Thabet & Vostanis, 1999;
Yule, 2000 Dimitry, 2012; Dubow et al., 2012; Eagle &
Kaminer, 2013; Khamis, 2015).
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is included in the
DSM-5 on a new chapter called Trauma and Stress or
Related Disorders, (American Psychiatric, 2013).The
diagnostic criteria for the manual’s next edition identify
the trigger to PTSD as exposure to actual or threatened
death, serious injury or sexual violation. The exposure
must result from one or more of the following scenarios,
in which the individual experiencing the traumatic
event in a direct way, witnessing the traumatic event
personally,and an indirect experience of the traumatic
event that occurred to a close family member or close
friend (with the actual or threatened death being either
violent or accidental); or immediate repeated experiences
or extreme exposure to cruel forms of the traumatic event
(not through media, unless work-related). (American
Psychiatric, 2013).
However, traumatic stress does not necessarily lead to
PTSD or other mental disorders; in fact, the majority of
cases resolve themselves over time and does not create
any lasting psychopathology (J. Breslau, 2004). This is
especially important given that evidence demonstrates
that cross-cultural differences exist in the manner by
which emotional and behavioral disorders and problems
are expressed (Rahman, Mubbashar, Harrington, & Gater,
2000). Moreover, in situations of war and conict,
violence and trauma are often experienced collectively,
with repercussions for a sense of community security,
and not merely individually (Giacaman, Shannon, Saab,
Arya, & Boyce, 2007).
In this regard, some scholars have also attempted
to resolve this disjuncture by harmonizing different
perspectives of individual and collective trauma (e.g.
Abramowitz, 2005; Kienzler, 2008)). In response to
this, new dimensional approaches to trauma are being
developed, which integrate the biological, cultural
and clinical dimensions of trauma in the explanatory
framework of trauma (e.g. Kirmayer et al., 2007). There
is a need to assess if Palestinian children live under
Gaboulaud et al. (2010) presented data of 1773 children
and adults who received treatment by psychotherapists
between November 2000 and January 2006, in the Gaza
Strip and in the West Bank. Nearly half of the patients
were children between 4 and 14 years. The three main
diagnoses were a) anxiety disorder, b) mood disorder,
and c) PTSD.In addition, most of the studies regarding
psychological health and recovery in Palestine were
conducted in the Gaza Strip. The results have revealed
that Palestinian children who live in war zones are at
high risk of suffering from PTSD, somatic disorders and
psychosocial problems (Kanninen, Punamäki, & Qouta,
2003; Qouta & El-Sarraj, 2004; Thabet & Vostanis, 2000).
Palestinian students who grew up in the Intifada depicted
students in their drawings as being beaten or shot by
soldiers (Garbarino, Kostelny, & Dubrow, 1991; Holt,
2001). Furthermore, the number of traumatic experiences
was related to higher levels of neuroticism and the lack of
attention, concentration and memory (Qouta, Punamäki,
& Sarraj, 1995).
A study by Abu Hein, Qouta, and El Sarraj (1993) found
a high rate, about (25%), of the Palestinian students
that were living in Gaza strip they were exposed to
traumatic experiences during the rst intifada. Another
study revealed that Palestinian children who living in
the West Bank they were mainly suffer from behavior
and psychosomatic problems (Baker, 1990). Therefore,
it seems that Palestinian children are surviving from
traumatic events. They need to stand up, adapt, bounce
back, recover and endeavor to overcome all difculties
in spite of the circumstances that surround them. Given
that the majority of the people are exposed to traumatic
events, the question is not only the type of oppression
from which they suffer, but how to foster the capacity
to overcome such difcult circumstances. Researchers
and psychologists have emphasized disappointment and
unhappiness as well as anxiety and depression rather
than the strengths and potentialities of the people of
Palestine, but still the main question remains how to
facilitate overcoming traumas or how to grow up with
a good mental health in spite of the traumatic events.
(El-Khodary Samara 2019a & 2019b).
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental
Disorders, 4th edition, Text Revision (American
Psychiatric, 2000), denes trauma including the events,
and the person response to it. Trauma as direct personal
experience of an event that involves actual or threatened
death or serious injury, or other threat to one’s physical
integrity; or witnessing an event that involves death,
injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of another
person; or learning about unexpected or violent death,
serious harm, or threat of death or injury experienced
by a family member or other close associate (Criterion
A1). And criterion A2, as the person’s response to the
event must involve intense fear, helplessness, or horror
(or in children, the response must involve disorganized or
agitated behavior) (Criterion A2). (American Psychiatric,
2000).
Several studies have revealed that exposure to previous
BIOSCIENCE BIOTECHNOLOGY RESEARCH COMMUNICATIONS ExpOSURE TO TRAUMATIC ExpERIENCES AMONG THE pALESTINIAN STUdENTS1511
traumatic situations. Individuals who are directly or
indirectly exposed to war and conict experience a
variety of adverse short and long-term psychological
reactions. Common symptoms and reactions in the
aftermath of potentially traumatic experiences include
anger, sleeping difculties, nightmares, and avoidance of
situations that are reminders of the trauma, impairment
of concentration, and guilt due to survival or lack of
personal injury during the traumatic event. A number
of studies have found a high prevalence of symptoms,
including Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD)
among children exposed to war trauma, state-sponsored
terrorism or interpersonal violence (Palestinian Center
for Human Rights, 2009).
Abualkibash
# The items of traumatic experiences yes %
24 Have you been exposed to the hearing of the explosion sounds or the sound bombs? 429 .7989
3 Have you been exposed to inhaling tear gas? 384 .7151
29 Have you witnessed a martyr’s funeral? 344 .6406
32 Have you witnessed anyone being arrested by the occupying forces? 311 .5791
11 Have the occupied forces used your house, block, camp, or zone as a cordon? 287 .5364
30 Have you witnessed the occupying forces beating anyone? 278 .5177
15 Has any of your friends, neighbours, or relatives been killed by occupying forces? 277 .5158
31 Have you witnessed injuring by the occupying forces? 258 .4804
27 Have you witnessed the occupying forces opening re against people? 250 .4655
17 Has any of your friends, neighbours, or relatives been injured by the occupying forces? 241 .4488
20 Have you attended to martyr’s funeral? 214 .3985
19 Has anyone been killed in front of your eyes by occupying forces? 206 .3836
33 Have you witnessed the occupying forces destroying trees or farms? 169 .3147
34 Have you witnessed the occupying forces not allowing an ambulance to reach a hospital? 167 .3110
16 Has any of your close family members been injured by occupying forces? 160 .2980
23 Have the occupied forces destroyed a land or farm of yours or of a dear person by a bulldozer. 142 .2644
14 Has any of your close family members (father, mother, brother, sister) 126 .2346
been killed by occupying forces?
22 Has anyone of your close family members been exposed to humiliation by occupying forces? 122 .2272
25 Have you witnessed the occupying forces destroying house(s). 108 .2011
28 Have you witnessed people being shelled and bombed? 105 .1955
8 Have you been exposed to live re by occupying forces, but you were not injured? 100 .1862
7 Have you been injured to the degree that you lost consciousness? 82 .1527
12 Have the occupied forces threatened you with the possibility of not 78 .1453
allowing access to your home?
21 Have you been exposed to humiliation by occupying forces? 71 .1322
26 Have you witnessed shelling by tanks, artillery, or military planes? 63 .1173
18 Has anyone of your close family members been killed in front of 57 .1061
your eyes by occupying forces?
9 Have you been exposed to shelling by tanks, artillery, or military planes, 56 .1043
but you were not injured?
10 Have you been beaten by occupied forces? 34 .0636
6 Have you been shot with a rubber bullet by occupying forces? 33 .0615
4 Have you been injured by shelling (e.g. wounds, burns, or bone break) 32 .0596
by tanks, artillery, or military planes?
2 Has your house been partially destroyed by shelling or bulldozing? 22 .0410
13 Have you been arrested by occupying forces? 18 .0336
1 Has your house been completely destroyed by shelling or bulldozing? 16 .0298
5 Have you been shot with live ammunition by occupying forces? 9 .0168
Table 1. Exposure to traumatic experiences: frequency and percentage of traumatic experiences
Research have been mainly done in Gaza, and few data
are coming from the West Bank; assessing traumatic
experiences is not only to assess PTSD, but also checking
how everyone perceive their situation according to their
especial context, and specially under a collective traumatic
situation. These information will allow to take measures
to increase not only individual psychotherapeutic
attention, but community psycho-social attentions in
war torn zones (ShalhoubKevorkian, 2008). The war
and the long term occupation of Palestinian territory
1512 ExpOSURE TO TRAUMATIC ExpERIENCES AMONG THE pALESTINIAN STUdENTS BIOSCIENCE BIOTECHNOLOGY RESEARCH COMMUNICATIONS
Abualkibash
expose students to recurrent traumatic experiences which
violate their human rights: the right to live, to learn, to
be healthy, to live with his/her family and community, to
develop his/her personality, to be nurtured and protected,
and the right to enjoy childhood. The potential for having
a normal childhood in Palestine is unlikely in the current
circumstances and the future psychological well-being
of Palestinian children is at risk of being compromised
by on-going traumatic experiences.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
Participants and Procedure: The sample consisted
of 537 Palestinian public-school students of 13 and
14 years old living in the West Bank (OPT Occupied
Palestinian Territories). They were 55% girls and 45%
boys. About two thirds (64%) were from rural areas and
(36%) from urban areas. For the study, 25 schools were
randomly selected as representative of schools in the
North directorate of the West Bank. At each school 10
students from 8th grade and 10 students from 9th grade,
were randomly selected. The High Ministry of Education
provided the permission to access the public schools,
and then researcher informed the pupils, their parents,
and headmaster about the purpose of study, obtaining
their consent for participation. Measures:Traumatic war
experiences: The Checklist of Traumatic Experiences
(CTE) (Altawil, 2008), is a 34-item scale that covers
events that are typical in the Palestinian Israel-occupied
territories, such as being arrested, threated, injured,
exposure to shelling or house demolition. Adolescents
reported whether they had been exposed to the events
(Yes = 1; No = 0), and the number of times that they
have experienced such event. In this study, each item
has been analysed individually, taking the frequency
that students reported that they have experienced each
situation. Frequencies reported higher than 10 times
were recoded as 10.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Research findings presented in this study, contain
two parts; the rst part presents descriptive statistics
of Exposure to traumatic experiences: frequency and
percentage of the traumatic experiences. The second
part presents descriptive statistics of constructs exposure
to traumatic experiences, according to the effects of
Demographic Factors as gender, place and area.
First part: How Palestinian adolescents are exposed
to traumatic experiences, data shows that all of the
forms suffered by the sample, being the most often the
explosions and sound bombs, tear gas, and funerals;
while the lowest is being shouted or house being
bulldozed (see table 1, 2 & 4)
According to the dimensions of traumatic experiences,
the researcher found that the most dimension exposed
among the respondents was the Distant exposure with;
(M: 0.42, SD: 0.30) and the least dimension was Material
Exposure with; (M: 0.11, SD: 0.18), (see table 4, and
Figure 1).
Types N. of Frequency Percent Valid Cumulative
Traumas % Percent Percent
F 0-5 134 25.0 25.0 25.0
E 6-10 183 34.1 34.1 59.0
D 11-15 120 22.3 22.3 81.4
C 16-20 82 15.3 15.3 96.6
B 21-25 14 2.6 2.6 99.3
A 26-34 4 .7 .7 100.0
Total 537 100 100.0
Table 2. Number of traumatic experiences and percentages according
to the types (N: 537)
Std.
Dimension N Range Minimum Maximum Mean Deviation
V Distant Exposure 537 1.00 .00 1.00 .4195 .30115
III Indirect Exposure 537 1.00 .00 1.00 .3175 .26579
IV Proximate Exposure 537 1.00 .00 1.00 .3051 .24216
I Direct Exposure 537 1.00 .00 1.00 .2431 .15587
II Material Exposure 537 1.00 .00 1.00 .1117 .17964
Table 3. The means of exposure to traumatic events according to the dimension, in
descending order
BIOSCIENCE BIOTECHNOLOGY RESEARCH COMMUNICATIONS ExpOSURE TO TRAUMATIC ExpERIENCES AMONG THE pALESTINIAN STUdENTS1513
in study variables, according to gender, place, and Age
the researcher used independent sample t-test. Table 6
shows the results.
As illustrated in table 6, there are signicant differences
between males and females in CTE in benet to males (p <
0.05), also there are signicant differences between Cities
and Villages in CTE in benet to Villages (p < 0.05). And
no signicant differences according to the Age.In order to
test the differences between the respondents according to
Gender, the researcher used one-way ANOVA test, tables
7 and 8 show the results.
There are signicant differences between males and
females in the dimension; Direct Exposure, Indirect
Exposure, Distant Exposure and CTE total in benet to
males (p < 0.01). Thus the males are more likely to expose
to traumatic experiences than female. In order to test the
differences between the respondents according to Place
the researcher used one-way ANOVA test, tables 9 and
10 show the results.
Abualkibash
Second part: this part of the Effects of Demographic
Factors will answer the question if there are signicant
differences in the level of exposure to traumatic
experiences according to (gender, place, age and Area).
In order to test the differences between the respondents
Figure 1: The means of exposure to traumatic events
according to the dimension
The statements of traumatic experiences Item Type Frequency (%)
no
Has any of your friends, neighbors, or relatives been injured by the occupying forces? 17 IV 242 .4488
Have you witnessed the occupying forces opening re against people? 27 V 250 .4655
Have you witnessed injuring by the occupying forces? 31 V 258 .4804
Has any of your friends, neighbors, or relatives been killed by occupying forces? 15 IV 277 .5158
Have you witnessed the occupying forces beating anyone? 30 V 278 .5177
Have the occupied forces used your house, block, camp, or zone as a cordon? 11 I 287 .5364
Have you witnessed anyone being arrested by the occupying forces? 32 V 311 .5791
Have you witnessed a martyr’s funeral? 29 III 344 .6406
Have you been exposed to inhaling tear gas? 3 I 384 .7151
Have you been exposed to the hearing of the explosion sounds or the sound bombs? 24 I 429 .7989
Table 4. Frequency and percentages of traumatic experiences (N: 537)
Constructs Mean S.D. Mean S.D. T-value P-value
Gender Males n = 242 Females n = 295
CTE 0.321 0.17 0.260 0.157 3.99** 0.000
Place Cities n = 196 Villages n = 341
CTE 0.263 0.162 0.301 0.166 -2.95** 0.009
Age Age 13 n = 268 Age 14 n = 269
CTE 0.31 0.19 0.34 0.21 -1.55 0.120
Table 5. The Results of Independent Sample T-Test for the Differences in Study Variables
According to Gender, Place, and Age
There are signicant differences between respondents
from cities and villages in the dimension; Direct
Exposure, Indirect Exposure, and CTE total in benet to
villages (p < 0.01). Thus the respondents from villages
are more likely to expose to traumatic experiences
than respondents from cities. The differences between
the respondents according to areas (Directorates) the
researcher used one-way ANOVA test and tables 11 and
12 show the results.
The result of one-way ANOVA test shows there are
signicant differences among respondents in exposing
to traumatic experiences according to directorate (CTE
F = 13.82, p < 0.01). The most signicant nding in this
1514 ExpOSURE TO TRAUMATIC ExpERIENCES AMONG THE pALESTINIAN STUdENTS BIOSCIENCE BIOTECHNOLOGY RESEARCH COMMUNICATIONS
study was that a high proportion of Palestinian children
reported that they had exposed to traumatic experiences;
Most of participants had been exposed to all 34 traumatic
experiences, there are more than 22% of the participants
exposes at least to 15 traumatic experiences from the
total of 34 traumatic experiences.
N Mean Std. Std. 95% Condence Interval Minimum Maximum
Deviation Error Lower Upper for Mean
Bound Bound
Direct Exposure Male 242 .2863 .16905 .01087 .2649 .3077 .00 .93
Female 295 .2075 .13287 .00774 .1923 .2227 .00 .71
Total 537 .2430 .15516 .00670 .2299 .2562 .00 .93
Material Exposure Male 242 .1253 .19536 .01256 .1006 .1501 .00 1.00
Female 295 .1006 .16513 .00961 .0816 .1195 .00 .67
Total 537 .1117 .17964 .00775 .0965 .1270 .00 1.00
Indirect Exposure Male 242 .3502 .26072 .01676 .3172 .3832 .00 1.00
Female 295 .2907 .26734 .01556 .2600 .3213 .00 1.00
Total 537 .3175 .26579 .01147 .2950 .3400 .00 1.00
Proximate Exposure Male 242 .3202 .23607 .01518 .2904 .3501 .00 .83
Female 295 .2927 .24675 .01437 .2644 .3209 .00 1.00
Total 537 .3051 .24216 .01045 .2846 .3256 .00 1.00
Distant Exposure Male 242 .4604 .30016 .01930 .4224 .4985 .00 1.00
Female 295 .3860 .29828 .01737 .3518 .4201 .00 1.00
Total 537 .4195 .30115 .01300 .3940 .4451 .00 1.00
CTE Total Male 242 .3215 .16967 .01091 .3000 .3429 .00 .82
Female 295 .2596 .15705 .00914 .2416 .2776 .00 .76
Total 537 .2875 .16559 .00715 .2735 .3015 .00 .82
Table 6. The Results of Descriptive statistics For the Study Variables According to Gender
Sum of df Mean F Sig.
Squares Square
Direct Exposure Between Groups .825 1 .825 36.564* .000
Within Groups 12.078 535 .023
Total 12.904 536
Material Exposure Between Groups .082 1 .082 2.537 .112
Within Groups 17.214 535 .032
Total 17.296 536
Indirect Exposure Between Groups .471 1 .471 6.740* .010
Within Groups 37.394 535 .070
Total 37.865 536
Proximate Exposure Between Groups .101 1 .101 1.728 .189
Within Groups 31.332 535 .059
Total 31.433 536
Distant Exposure Between Groups .738 1 .738 8.244* .004
Within Groups 47.871 535 .089
Total 48.609 536
CTE Total Between Groups .508 1 .508 19.171* .000
Within Groups 14.189 535 .027
Total 14.697 536
Table 7. The Results of One Way ANOVA for the Differences in Study Variables According
to Gender
Abualkibash
BIOSCIENCE BIOTECHNOLOGY RESEARCH COMMUNICATIONS ExpOSURE TO TRAUMATIC ExpERIENCES AMONG THE pALESTINIAN STUdENTS1515
The study found that boys suffer more traumatic
experiences than girls, which is similar to the ndings of
many previous studies (Husain et al., 1998; Khamis, 2005;
Thabet, Tawahina, El Sarraj, & Vostanis, 2008; Thabet &
Vostanis, 1999) (Kuterovac, Dyregrov, & Stuvland, 1994).
However, it contrasts with another study that found that
boys and girls in Palestine, both of them have the same
level of traumatic experiences (Miller, ElMasri, Allodt, &
Qouta, 1999, El-Khodary, Samara 2019a & 2019b), which
lead us to understand the difference between traumatic
events in Gaza and in the West Bank.
N Mean Std. Std. 95% Condence Minimum Maximum
Deviation Error Interval for Mean
Lower Upper
Bound Bound
Direct Exposure Village 341 .2570 .15735 .00852 .2403 .2738 .00 .79
City 196 .2187 .14854 .01061 .1977 .2396 .00 .93
Total 537 .2430 .15516 .00670 .2299 .2562 .00 .93
Material Exposure Village 341 .1163 .18210 .00986 .0969 .1357 .00 1.00
City 196 .1037 .17544 .01253 .0790 .1285 .00 .67
Total 537 .1117 .17964 .00775 .0965 .1270 .00 1.00
Indirect Exposure Village 341 .3468 .26530 .01437 .3185 .3750 .00 1.00
City 196 .2666 .25952 .01854 .2300 .3031 .00 1.00
Total 537 .3175 .26579 .01147 .2950 .3400 .00 1.00
Proximate Exposure Village 341 .3123 .24647 .01335 .2861 .3386 .00 1.00
City 196 .2925 .23456 .01675 .2595 .3256 .00 .83
Total 537 .3051 .24216 .01045 .2846 .3256 .00 1.00
Distant Exposure Village 341 .4349 .29809 .01614 .4031 .4666 .00 1.00
City 196 .3929 .30533 .02181 .3498 .4359 .00 1.00
Total 537 .4195 .30115 .01300 .3940 .4451 .00 1.00
CTE Total Village 341 .3015 .16632 .00901 .2838 .3193 .00 .79
City 196 .2631 .16184 .01156 .2403 .2859 .00 .82
Total 537 .2875 .16559 .00715 .2735 .3015 .00 .82
Table 8. The Results of Descriptive statistics For the Study Variables According to Place
Sum of df Mean F Sig.
Squares Square
Direct Exposure Between Groups .183 1 .183 7.702* .006
Within Groups 12.721 535 .024
Total 12.904 536
Material Exposure Between Groups .020 1 .020 .610 .435
Within Groups 17.276 535 .032
Total 17.296 536
Indirect Exposure Between Groups .800 1 .800 11.553* .001
Within Groups 37.065 535 .069
Total 37.865 536
Proximate Exposure Between Groups .049 1 .049 .832 .362
Within Groups 31.384 535 .059
Total 31.433 536
Distant Exposure Between Groups .220 1 .220 2.427 .120
Within Groups 48.390 535 .090
Total 48.609 536
CTE Total Between Groups .184 1 .184 6.794* .009
Within Groups 14.513 535 .027
Total 14.697 536
Table 9. The Results of One Way ANOVA for the Differences in Study Variables According to
Place
Abualkibash
1516 ExpOSURE TO TRAUMATIC ExpERIENCES AMONG THE pALESTINIAN STUdENTS BIOSCIENCE BIOTECHNOLOGY RESEARCH COMMUNICATIONS
Construct Directorate N Mean S.D.
CTE Jenin 82 0.37 0.21
Qabatya 45 0.45 0.23
Nablus 132 0.24 0.17
S. Nablus 43 0.44 0.15
Salt 40 0.41 0.18
Tubas 26 0.25 0.20
Tulkarm 103 0.27 0.18
Qalqilya 66 0.38 0.17
Table 10. The Results of Descriptive statistics For the Study
Variables According to Directorate
Directorate Source of Sum of df Mean F Sig.
variance Squares Square
CTE Between Groups 3.339 7 0.477 13.815** 0.000
Within Groups 18.265 529 0.035
Total 21.604 536
Table 11. The Results of One Way ANOVA for the Differences in Study Variables
According to Directorate
In Gaza we nd a general bombing which facilitates the
exposure and suffering for everyone, including children,
while in the West Bank traumatic events are mostly found
in some specic areas; check points, some villages and
even houses, as the exposure cannot be experienced by
all the population.The results found that the percentage
of exposure to traumatic experiences increase for those
whom living in the villages than those whom living in
the cities, specially in the dimension; Direct Exposure and
Indirect Exposure to traumatic events. This is consistent
with previous studies ( Thabet & Vostanis, 2000; Thabet,
Abed, & Vostanis, 2004; Thabet & Vostanis, 2019).
According to Areas or directorate, there are more
exposure to traumatic events on some areas like Qabatya,
south Nablus and Salt, These directorates include many
villages and communities as well as their closeness to
settlements, military checkpoints, and the apartheid
wall, all of these factors might be leading to increase
clashes with settlers and soldiers, therefore increased
exposure to traumatic events.The war and the long
term occupation of Palestinian territory expose students
to recurrent traumatic experiences which violate their
human rights: the right to live, to learn, to be healthy,
to live with his/her family and community, to develop
his/her personality, to be nurtured and protected, and
the right to enjoy childhood. The potential for having a
normal childhood in Palestine is unlikely in the current
circumstances and the future psychological well-being
of Palestinian children is at risk of being compromised
by on-going traumatic experiences.
Figure 2: The Results of Descriptive statistics For the Study
Variables According to Directorate
CONCLUSION
Results show that childhood in the West Bank suffers
from traumatic situations; in addition to that the results,
which come from Gaza, are worst. Therefore, intervention
must go on two directions: 1) stop oppression and
aggressive acts that provoke traumatic experiences,
and 2) increasing the resistance and resilience of the
oppressed population. The current study proves that the
surrounding environment of the child has an inuence
on the development of many kind of mental disorders
either as a risk or as a protective factor. The application
of the ecological framework theory with children exposed
to difcult situations as here involve the relationships
between risk and protective factors in the various levels
of the ecological model which are the individual (e.g., age,
gender), family (e.g., family size, SES), and environment
(type and place of residence, citizenship, war trauma and
political situation) (El-Khodary Samara & Askew 2020).At
the end, this paper showed how adolescents are affected
by Israel occupation, assessed with a questionnaire of
traumatic experiences checklist show that the situation
is hard, but still bearable comparing to Gaza. This means
that oppressed and occupation forces can oppress even
more, and also that recovering is easier.Nevertheless,
this paper brings the most important point the need to
develop appropriate tools to assess traumatic experiences
or aggression to adolescents, taking into consideration
if the aggression is collective or individual, and the type
and frequency, as a way to improve ways to intervene
and help to recover.
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Abualkibash
BIOSCIENCE BIOTECHNOLOGY RESEARCH COMMUNICATIONS ExpOSURE TO TRAUMATIC ExpERIENCES AMONG THE pALESTINIAN STUdENTS1519
... Also, Palestinian children living in occupied Palestine suffer from insomnia, terror of the dim, horrors, sadness, bedwetting, social disengagement, bad social interaction, fierce behavior, forgetfulness, and truancy from school. These signs show that having a normal childhood in Palestine is nearly impossible under the present situations, and it is hurting their future mental well-being (Altawil, 2008, El-Khodary Samara 2019a& 2019b, Abualkibash, 2020. ...
... Palestinian teenagers who grew up during the Intifada depicted students being assaulted or shot by soldiers in their drawings (Garbarino, Kostelny, & Dubrow, 1991;Holt, 2001). In addition, the number of traumatic experiences were linked to higher degrees of neuroticism, as well as a lack of attention, focus, and memory (Qouta, Punamäki, & Sarraj, 1995;Abualkibash, 2020). Another study by Abu Hein, Qouta, and El Sarraj (1993) discovered that during the first intifada, a large percentage of Palestinian pupils residing in Gaza were subjected to traumatic experiences. ...
... Given that the majority of people are subjected to traumatic situations, the question isn't so much what kind of oppression they face, but how to help them develop the ability to overcome them. Researchers and psychologists have placed a greater emphasis on frustration and sadness, as well as nervousness and hopelessness, than on the people of Palestine's strengths and potentialities, but the central question remains how to help people overcome traumas and grow up with good mental health in the face of traumatic events (El-Khodary Samara 2019a & 2019b; Abualkibash, 2020). ...
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