Coping with war captivity: The role of sensation seeking

Zahava Solomon*, Karni Ginzburg, Yuval Neria, Abraham Ohry

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


This study examines the implication of both sensation seeking and the subjective appraisal of captivity in the long‐term adjustment of ex‐prisoners of war (ex‐POWs). 164 Israeli ex‐POWs and 184 comparable controls were studied, 18 years after their participation in the Yom Kippur War. The findings indicate that high‐sensation seekers adjusted better than low‐sensation seekers to the stresses of captivity. Low‐sensation‐seeking ex‐POWs reported more PTSD symptoms, more severe psychiatric symptomatology, and more intense intrusive and avoidance tendencies. High‐ and low‐sensation‐seeking POWs differed also in feelings when taken prisoner, subjective assessment of suffering in prison, ways of coping with prison, and emotional states during captivity. The present study supports the postulation that sensation seeking is an important stress‐buffering personal resource. The role of coping styles in long‐term adjustment following war captivity is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-70
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Journal of Personality
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1995


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