Coping and mental health outcomes among israelis living with the chronic threat of terrorism

Benjamin D. Dickstein*, Yonit Schorr, Nathan Stein, Lillian H. Krantz, Zahava Solomon, Brett T. Litz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Relatively little is known about how people cope with the chronic threat of terrorism or how coping behaviors relate to mental health outcomes within this context. Through the use of exploratory factor analysis, we identified seven latent coping factors among Israeli citizens living near the Gaza border, a region that has been regularly subjected to rocket and mortar attacks. Moderation analysis revealed that three coping factors (substance use coping, denial/disengagement, and social support seeking) exacerbated the relationship between terror-related exposure and psychological functioning, and that one factor (acceptance/positive reframing) protected against psychological distress. These findings help elucidate the types of coping strategies employed by individuals living with the chronic threat of terror and their impact on mental health. In addition, they underscore the need for researchers and clinicians to consider coping behaviors differently when they occur in an environment of chronic terrorist threat.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)392-399
Number of pages8
JournalPsychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2012


  • Coping
  • Israel
  • PTSD
  • terrorism


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