The current study investigated the association between mothers’ perceived need for psychosocial services due to exposure to political violence, and theirs and their children’s psychological distress. A representative sample of 904 Israeli mothers of young children aged 2–6 were asked to fill out a questionnaire about exposure to war and other types of trauma, psychological distress, social support, and perceived need for help. The results showed that mothers who reported a need for psychosocial services due to exposure to political violence had higher levels of exposure to political violence, depressive symptoms and more emotional problems in their young children than mothers who reported no need for help. Those who reported a need for psychosocial services also had less social support even when all other variables are controlled. Furthermore, Arab mothers and mothers with low family income perceived a greater need for psychosocial services. The implications of this study are relevant for policies of outreach to vulnerable groups in situations of ongoing political violence.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The study was funded by the Bernard van Leer Foundation.
© 2013, Springer Science+Business Media New York.
- Mass trauma
- Mothers of young children
- Perceived need for psychosocial services
- Political violence
- Social support