Effects of Prolonged Exposure to Terrorism on Israeli Youth: Stress- Related Responses as a Function of Place of Residence, News Consumption, and Gender
Sabrina Oppenheimer, Yael Villa and Alan Apter
Affiliation: Academic College of Tel Aviv-Yaffo; 14 Rabenu Yerucham St., Jaffa, 68114, Israel.
This study investigated Israeli adolescent coping with terror during a three year period. Ten and 11th graders (n=147) from two major cities in Israel, one exposed to frequent terror attacks and the other relatively free from terrorism participated in the study. A self-report questionnaire measured terror-related stress responses (TRSR), perceived vulnerability and controllability, and measures of indirect exposure to terrorism – living area, exposure to media and knowing a victim of terror. Adolescents from the high risk area scored significantly higher on most TRSR items compared to those from the low risk area, felt more vulnerable about being directly involved in a terror event, and perceived themselves as being more cautious. These effects were more pronounced among news consumers and among girls. Indirect exposure to terrorism significantly intensified adolescents stress symptoms and changed their daily routines, possibly with long term effects on their development.
Keywords: Exposure to terrorism, adolescents, coping, news consumption, perceived vulnerability, risk area, Israeli Youth, Stress-Related Responses, TRSR, intensified adolescents' stress
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