Political violence in retrospect: Its effect on the mental health of Palestinian adolescents

Muhammad M. Haj-Yahia*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The aim of this study has been to examine the effect of retrospective report of political violence during the first Intifada (1987-1993) on psychological adjustment of 1185 Palestinian adolescents (10th to 12th graders) seven years after the first Intifada had ended. Analysis of the inter-relations was conducted between self-reported measures of political violence, socio-demographic characteristics, perceived parents' psychological adjustment problems and internalizing (i.e., somatization, withdrawal, anxiety, and depression) and externalizing (i.e., thought, attention and social problems, delinquent and aggressive behaviors) symptoms. It showed the significant net effect of retrospectively reported exposure to political violence on both internalizing symptoms and externalizing symptoms over and above the effect of socio-demographic characteristics and perceived parents' psychological adjustment problems. The discussion addresses the meaning of these results in light of the conceptual and methodological limitations of this study.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)283-289
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2008


  • Exposure to political violence
  • First Palestinian Intifada
  • Long-term effects of political violence
  • Mental health consequences of political violence
  • Palestinian children and adolescents


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