Confronting the bomber: Coping at the site of previous terror attacks

Rael D. Strous, Nurit Mishaeli, Yaniv Ranen, Joy Benatov, Dovid Green, Ari Z. Zivotofsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Terror exposure has become commonplace in Israel, with civilians needing to develop appropriate coping mechanisms. This study investigated coping mechanisms of those who are able to return to leisure activity at sites of previous terror attacks. A specially designed questionnaire, exploring knowledge of the terror event, previous terror exposure, coping mechanisms, state of anxiety, and mood, was administered to 93 restaurant attendees at sites of well-known recent terror attacks (2001-2005). Most respondents were aware of the previous terror attack (92.3%) and most reported no fear at revisiting (70.3%), with 20.9% reporting some anxiety and 5.5% reporting moderate or severe anxiety. Sixty percent reported that they have no fear that a terror attack will reoccur at the same place. Some (27.7%) reported change in practices or decrease in one or more activity, especially use of public transport (18%). The most helpful reported resource for facilitating stress coping following a suicide bombing was to "call or be in touch with friends or relatives," and least helpful was "medicines." Over half of respondents (53%) reported that the current security climate affected their mood. Older individuals and females were more affected by terror events. Study observations confirm that resilience develops in the general population in response to ongoing terror attacks. Response to terror is heterogeneous with a range of coping mechanisms expressed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-239
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Volume195
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2007

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Coping
  • PTSD
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Terror
  • Terrorism

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