Adolescents on the Front Line: Exposure to Shelling Via Television and the Parental Role

Tamar Lavi, Liat Itzhaky*, Mazal Menachem, Zahava Solomon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: Research suggests that exposure to traumatic content via television inadvertently increases posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) as well as psychological distress, especially among adolescent viewers. The aim of the current study was to assess the effect of news consumption on PTSS and general distress among adolescents who live in a war area, as well as to examine the role of parents as intermediaries of news broadcasting. Method: A total of 65 adolescents who live in a war zone filled out the Child Post Traumatic Stress Reaction Index, the Brief Symptoms Inventory, and a scale measuring the level of real-life exposure, news broadcast consumption, and parents as intermediaries of news broadcasting. Results: A main effect for real-life exposure on both PTSS and general distress was revealed. Interestingly, a three-way interaction between real-life exposure, television exposure, and parents as intermediators was found for general distress. Only under low real-life exposure did parents as intermediaries buffer the effect of television exposure on general distress. Conclusions: Parental intermediation of news broadcasting of traumatic events, especially in situations of continuous, real-life exposure, is essential.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-94
Number of pages10
JournalPsychiatry (New York)
Volume79
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2016

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