Continuous Exposure to Terrorism during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Moderated Mediation Model in the Israeli Context

Becky Leshem, Gabriela Kashy-Rosenbaum, Miriam Schiff, Rami Benbenishty, Ruth Pat-Horenczyk*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This study tested the role of perceived social support as a moderating factor in the mediation of COVID-19-related concerns in the association between continuous traumatic stress (CTS) and depression. The study participants were 499 college students who responded to an anonymous online questionnaire. Measures included the assessment of prior continuous exposure to threats of terrorism, COVID-19-related distress, perceived social support and depressive symptoms. The results demonstrated that COVID-19-related concerns mediated the relationship between continuous exposure to threats of terrorism and depression symptoms, and that perceived social support moderated the association between COVID-19-related concerns and depression. The implications of the study highlight the role of prior exposure to traumatic stress as a risk factor for depression and the role of social support as a protective factor. These results point to the need to develop accessible and non-stigmatic mental health services for populations exposed to other types of continuous traumatic stress.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number2799
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - 4 Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.


  • COVID-19
  • continuous traumatic stress
  • depression
  • higher education
  • social support


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