Effects of political violence exposure on the family and parenting environment: The case of Palestinians and Israelis.

Eric F. Dubow, Lynne C. Goodman, Paul Boxer, Erika Y. Niwa, L. Rowell Huesmann, Simha F. Landau, Shira Dvir Gvirsman, Khalil Shikaki, Cathy Smith

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In 2014, over 172 million people were affected by 40 political conflicts. These political conflicts disrupt society at every level. As community and government resources are destroyed, residents of war-torn regions experience extreme acts of violence, poverty, and collapsed social systems, all of which put them at an increased risk for post-traumatic stress, anxiety, depression, and aggression. This chapter examines the effect that political violence exposure has on family functioning, in particular on violence between spouses and parental depressive symptoms, and subsequently on aggressive parenting. Research has supported the idea that violence begets violence. Violence at higher levels of the social system (e.g., political, media) might spread to violence in systems more proximal to the individual (e.g., community, family, peer group), which then might affect the individual's violence propensity. Palestinian and Israeli Jewish and Arab children (N = 1,501 at Wave 1) in three age cohorts (ages 8, 11, and 14) and their parents completed three waves of interviews at 1-year intervals between 2007 and 2010. Family functioning and parenting appear to be compromised under conditions of war. Parents who are exposed to war are at an increased risk of psychological distress, depression, and post-traumatic stress. They are also at a higher risk of being exposed to or perpetrating intimate partner violence. This distress taxes a parent's emotional resources and lowers his or her sense of parenting efficacy and self-esteem. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved)
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of political violence and children
Subtitle of host publicationPsychosocial effects, intervention, and prevention policy.
EditorsCharles W. Greenbaum, Muhammad M. Haj-Yahia, Carolyn Hamilton
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9780190874575 , 9780190874582
ISBN (Print)9780190874551
StatePublished - 2021

Publication series

NameDevelopment at Risk


  • *Family
  • *War
  • *Parenting
  • *Political Violence
  • Depression (Emotion)
  • Distress
  • Intimate Partner Violence
  • Posttraumatic Stress


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