Dimensions of the political environment affecting children's mental health: An Israeli study

Michelle Slone*, Thalma Lobel, Izhak Gilat

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study investigates the effect of three psychopolitical factors on children's psychological adjustment. The three factors are exposure to political life events, impact assigned to experienced events, and perception of threat. Subjects were 397 Israeli children aged 12-13 sampled from three residential areas, which differed along a religious-ideological axis - West Bank settlements, the Golan Heights, and greater Tel Aviv. All children responded to a political life events scale, a questionnaire battery assessing threat perception and ideological conviction, and the Brief Symptom Inventory. Results for two factors confirm the central hypothesis that the factors will be related linearly to distress, indicating increased distress levels with magnification of perceived impact of political events and perception of threat. A secondary hypothesis that ideology mediates the psychopolitical variables to distress relation was not confirmed. These results have implications for comprehension of political environmental dimensions impairing children's mental health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-91
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Conflict Resolution
Volume43
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1999

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