Psychological responses to continuous terror: A study of two communities in Israel

Arieh Y. Shalev, Rivka Tuval, Sarah Frenkiel-Fishman, Hilit Hadar, Spencer Eth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: The authors evaluated psychological responses to continuous terror. Method: Data were collected after 10 months of escalating hostilities against civilians in Israel. The study's participants were randomly selected adults living in two suburbs of Jerusalem, one frequently and directly exposed to acts of terrorism (N=167) and the other indirectly exposed (N=89). Participants provided information about exposure to terror-related incidents, disruption of daily living, symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and general distress (assessed with the Brief Symptom Inventory). Results: Residents of the directly exposed community reported more frequent exposure to terror and deeper disruption of daily living. Notwithstanding, the directly and indirectly exposed groups reported comparable rates of PTSD and similar levels of symptoms: 26.95% of the directly exposed group and 21.35% of the indirectly exposed group met DSM-IV PTSD symptom criteria (criteria B through D), and about one-third of those with PTSD symptoms (35.7% in the directly exposed group and 31.5% in the indirectly exposed group) reported significant distress and dysfunction. Subjects who did not meet PTSD symptom criteria had very low levels of PTSD symptoms, and their Brief Symptom Inventory scores were within population norms. Exposure and disruption of daily living contributed to PTSD symptoms in the directly exposed group. Disruption of daily routines contributed to Brief Symptom Inventory scores in both groups. Conclusions: Continuous terror created similar distress in proximal and remote communities. Exposure to discrete events was not a necessary mediator of terror threat. A subgroup of those exposed developed serious symptoms, whereas others were surprisingly resilient. Disruption of daily routines was a major secondary stressor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)667-673
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Volume163
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2006
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Israel
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders
Psychology
Equipment and Supplies
Terrorism
Hostility
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
Population

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Psychological responses to continuous terror : A study of two communities in Israel. / Shalev, Arieh Y.; Tuval, Rivka; Frenkiel-Fishman, Sarah; Hadar, Hilit; Eth, Spencer.

In: American Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 163, No. 4, 01.04.2006, p. 667-673.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Shalev, Arieh Y. ; Tuval, Rivka ; Frenkiel-Fishman, Sarah ; Hadar, Hilit ; Eth, Spencer. / Psychological responses to continuous terror : A study of two communities in Israel. In: American Journal of Psychiatry. 2006 ; Vol. 163, No. 4. pp. 667-673.
@article{9103eb6670f54c419b5e81add797f86a,
title = "Psychological responses to continuous terror: A study of two communities in Israel",
abstract = "Objective: The authors evaluated psychological responses to continuous terror. Method: Data were collected after 10 months of escalating hostilities against civilians in Israel. The study's participants were randomly selected adults living in two suburbs of Jerusalem, one frequently and directly exposed to acts of terrorism (N=167) and the other indirectly exposed (N=89). Participants provided information about exposure to terror-related incidents, disruption of daily living, symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and general distress (assessed with the Brief Symptom Inventory). Results: Residents of the directly exposed community reported more frequent exposure to terror and deeper disruption of daily living. Notwithstanding, the directly and indirectly exposed groups reported comparable rates of PTSD and similar levels of symptoms: 26.95{\%} of the directly exposed group and 21.35{\%} of the indirectly exposed group met DSM-IV PTSD symptom criteria (criteria B through D), and about one-third of those with PTSD symptoms (35.7{\%} in the directly exposed group and 31.5{\%} in the indirectly exposed group) reported significant distress and dysfunction. Subjects who did not meet PTSD symptom criteria had very low levels of PTSD symptoms, and their Brief Symptom Inventory scores were within population norms. Exposure and disruption of daily living contributed to PTSD symptoms in the directly exposed group. Disruption of daily routines contributed to Brief Symptom Inventory scores in both groups. Conclusions: Continuous terror created similar distress in proximal and remote communities. Exposure to discrete events was not a necessary mediator of terror threat. A subgroup of those exposed developed serious symptoms, whereas others were surprisingly resilient. Disruption of daily routines was a major secondary stressor.",
author = "Shalev, {Arieh Y.} and Rivka Tuval and Sarah Frenkiel-Fishman and Hilit Hadar and Spencer Eth",
year = "2006",
month = "4",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1176/appi.ajp.163.4.667",
language = "English",
volume = "163",
pages = "667--673",
journal = "American Journal of Psychiatry",
issn = "0002-953X",
publisher = "American Psychiatric Association",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Psychological responses to continuous terror

T2 - A study of two communities in Israel

AU - Shalev, Arieh Y.

AU - Tuval, Rivka

AU - Frenkiel-Fishman, Sarah

AU - Hadar, Hilit

AU - Eth, Spencer

PY - 2006/4/1

Y1 - 2006/4/1

N2 - Objective: The authors evaluated psychological responses to continuous terror. Method: Data were collected after 10 months of escalating hostilities against civilians in Israel. The study's participants were randomly selected adults living in two suburbs of Jerusalem, one frequently and directly exposed to acts of terrorism (N=167) and the other indirectly exposed (N=89). Participants provided information about exposure to terror-related incidents, disruption of daily living, symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and general distress (assessed with the Brief Symptom Inventory). Results: Residents of the directly exposed community reported more frequent exposure to terror and deeper disruption of daily living. Notwithstanding, the directly and indirectly exposed groups reported comparable rates of PTSD and similar levels of symptoms: 26.95% of the directly exposed group and 21.35% of the indirectly exposed group met DSM-IV PTSD symptom criteria (criteria B through D), and about one-third of those with PTSD symptoms (35.7% in the directly exposed group and 31.5% in the indirectly exposed group) reported significant distress and dysfunction. Subjects who did not meet PTSD symptom criteria had very low levels of PTSD symptoms, and their Brief Symptom Inventory scores were within population norms. Exposure and disruption of daily living contributed to PTSD symptoms in the directly exposed group. Disruption of daily routines contributed to Brief Symptom Inventory scores in both groups. Conclusions: Continuous terror created similar distress in proximal and remote communities. Exposure to discrete events was not a necessary mediator of terror threat. A subgroup of those exposed developed serious symptoms, whereas others were surprisingly resilient. Disruption of daily routines was a major secondary stressor.

AB - Objective: The authors evaluated psychological responses to continuous terror. Method: Data were collected after 10 months of escalating hostilities against civilians in Israel. The study's participants were randomly selected adults living in two suburbs of Jerusalem, one frequently and directly exposed to acts of terrorism (N=167) and the other indirectly exposed (N=89). Participants provided information about exposure to terror-related incidents, disruption of daily living, symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and general distress (assessed with the Brief Symptom Inventory). Results: Residents of the directly exposed community reported more frequent exposure to terror and deeper disruption of daily living. Notwithstanding, the directly and indirectly exposed groups reported comparable rates of PTSD and similar levels of symptoms: 26.95% of the directly exposed group and 21.35% of the indirectly exposed group met DSM-IV PTSD symptom criteria (criteria B through D), and about one-third of those with PTSD symptoms (35.7% in the directly exposed group and 31.5% in the indirectly exposed group) reported significant distress and dysfunction. Subjects who did not meet PTSD symptom criteria had very low levels of PTSD symptoms, and their Brief Symptom Inventory scores were within population norms. Exposure and disruption of daily living contributed to PTSD symptoms in the directly exposed group. Disruption of daily routines contributed to Brief Symptom Inventory scores in both groups. Conclusions: Continuous terror created similar distress in proximal and remote communities. Exposure to discrete events was not a necessary mediator of terror threat. A subgroup of those exposed developed serious symptoms, whereas others were surprisingly resilient. Disruption of daily routines was a major secondary stressor.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=33646834938&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=33646834938&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1176/appi.ajp.163.4.667

DO - 10.1176/appi.ajp.163.4.667

M3 - Article

C2 - 16585442

VL - 163

SP - 667

EP - 673

JO - American Journal of Psychiatry

JF - American Journal of Psychiatry

SN - 0002-953X

IS - 4

ER -