The role of social support for Israeli adolescents continually exposed to terrorism: Protective or compensatory factors?

Miriam Schiff, Ruth Pat-Horenczyk*, Osnat Peled

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study investigated the role that social support plays in posttraumatic stress (PTS) and depressive symptoms among Israeli adolescents with high or low exposure to terrorist acts. Participants were 585 Jewish students (221 girls and 364 boys) in grades 7 to 12 from areas extensively versus slightly exposed to terrorist attacks. Results found that PTS levels and depressive symptoms were higher among adolescents residing in areas highly exposed to terrorism. Adolescents in high exposure areas reported lower perceived levels of support than adolescents in low exposure areas when gender, age, and religiosity were controlled. Social support was found to be a significant predictor for PTS and depressive symptoms, but no evidence for a buffering role of social support was obtained.We conclude that social support has a positive effect on a person's mental health regardless of the type and level of the stressor the individual is exposed to.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)95-108
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Child and Adolescent Trauma
Volume3
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010

Keywords

  • Buffering effect
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Israel
  • Posttraumatic stress
  • Social support
  • Terrorism

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