The Relationship Between Sociopolitical Stress and Intimate Partner Violence Among Palestinians in Israel: Examining Cognitive Appraisals and Psychological Distress as Serial Mediators

Heba Faiek Zedan*, Muhammad M. Haj-Yahia

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: The prolonged and continuous conflict of the Palestinian minority in Israel with the Jewish majority and its cumulative sociopolitical stress (e.g., national incongruity, racism, community, and political violence) may put this minority at risk for psychological distress. This experience may lead to maladaptive behaviors, such as perpetrating violence, including intimate partner violence (IPV). This study examined the relationship between exposure to sociopolitical stressors (i.e., interpersonal racism, collective racism, and national minority stress) and psychological and physical IPV perpetration among Palestinians in Israel. It also examined cognitive appraisals of stress and psychological distress as serial mediators in this relationship. Method: A self-administered questionnaire was completed by a systematic sample of 770 Palestinian adults (64.9% were women and 35.1% were men), aged 21–66 (M = 38.7, SD = 7.84). Participants were sampled from urban, rural, and Bedouin areas in Israel. A serial mediation model was conducted using path analysis. Results: Interpersonal racism directly predicts IPV perpetration. Minority stress and interpersonal racism, however, indirectly predict IPV perpetration via psychological distress. Further, each chain of cognitive appraisals of sociopolitical stress (i.e., uncontrollable and challenge) with psychological distress serially mediates the relationship between sociopolitical stress and IPV perpetration. Conclusions: Exposure to sociopolitical stressors directly impacts the dynamics among Palestinian men and women, but also likely indirectly, through psychological distress and serially through cognitive appraisals and psychological distress. Cognitive appraisals of sociopolitical stress may be important psychological resources or risk factors that practitioners can consider to combat psychological distress and IPV.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalPsychology of Violence
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 American Psychological Association

Keywords

  • cognitive appraisal
  • interpersonal and collective racism
  • intimate partner violence
  • minority stress
  • psychological distress

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