Monday, March 23, 2009

Terror and Adolescents

An academic treatment:

The effect of constant threat of terror on Israeli Jewish and Arab adolescents
Authors: Cohen, Miri; Eid, Jawdat
Source: Anxiety, Stress and Coping, Volume 20, Number 1, March 2007 , pp. 47-60(14)

The effect on Israeli Jewish and Arab adolescents of living under constant threat of terrorist attacks was assessed in a sample of 346 adolescents. The study probed their direct and indirect exposure to terrorist attacks, avoidance of public centers, sharing feelings with significant others, and stress reaction symptoms. The adolescents showed mild to low levels of stress symptoms in reaction to terrorist attacks in Israel, with no significant differences between Jews and Arabs.

The Jewish adolescents reported knowing more people involved in terror attacks and being more informed by their parents about them. Demographic and exposure variables explained 39% of the variance of stress reaction symptoms. Being female, knowing someone injured, having parents who discuss terrorist attacks or forbid going out, and more sharing of feelings were significantly related to higher stress symptoms. For Jewish adolescents, greater levels of sharing of feelings were related to higher distress. Jewish and Arab adolescents proved to be similarly affected by the threat of terror but were also resilient even in highly unusual circumstances.

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