This article examines the impact of exposure of ongoing terrorism on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, functional impairment, somatization, and depression among Israeli adolescents in the context of the Al Aqsa Intifada. An in-school screening of 1,010 adolescents was conducted in Jerusalem and nearby settlements that were subjected to intensive terrorist attacks. The screening procedure proved effective in identifying posttraumatic distress and triaging students for school-based treatments. The relationship between level of exposure and gender and the psychological sequelae, the differences between adolescents in Jerusalem and the settlements, and the role of spirituality and community are discussed.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This project was funded by UJA Federation of New York. Special appreciation to colleagues Claude Chemtob, PhD, Robert Abramovitz, MD, and Shelley Horwitz from the UJA Federation of New York, who assisted in the development of the study instruments; to Naomi Baum, PhD, Osnat Doppelt, MA, and Ayala Daie, MA, of the Israel Center for the Treatment of Psychotrauma, who took part in data collection and analysis; and to the school staff and students who participated in the project. The author would like to thank Prof. Arlene F. Tucker-Levin for the encouragement and her illuminating comments.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder