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The psychological impact of the Israel–Hezbollah war on Jews and Arabs in Israel: the impact of risk and resilience factors
- PALMERI Patrick A., et al
- Journal article citation:
- Social Science and Medicine, 67(8), October 2008, pp.1208-1216.
Although there is abundant evidence that mass traumas are associated with adverse mental health consequences, few studies have used nationally representative samples to examine the impact of war on civilians, and none have examined the impact of the Israel–Hezbollah War, which involved unprecedented levels of civilian trauma exposure from July 12 to August 14, 2006. The aims of this study were to document probable post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), determined by the PTSD Symptom Scale and self-reported functional impairment, in Jewish and Arab residents of Israel immediately after the Israel–Hezbollah War and to assess potential risk and resilience factors. A telephone survey was conducted August 15–October 5, 2006, following the cessation of rocket attacks. Stratified random sampling methods yielded a nationally representative population sample of 1200 adult Israeli residents. The rate of probable PTSD was 7.2%. Higher risk of probable PTSD was associated with being a woman, recent trauma exposure, economic loss, and higher psychosocial resource loss. Lower risk of probable PTSD was associated with higher education. The results suggest that economic and psychosocial resource loss, in addition to trauma exposure, have an impact on post-trauma functioning. Thus, interventions that bolster these resources might prove effective in alleviating civilian psychopathology during war.