Exposure to and fear of terror as predictors of self-rated health among apparently healthy employees

Arie Shirom*, Sharon Toker, Itzhak Shapira, Shlomo Berliner, Samuel Melamed

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The effects of exposure to terror on physical health were investigated by relating objective exposure to terror and fear of terror to self-rated health (SRH), a proxy measure of health status. Our respondents were apparently healthy (N = 4,877, 38% women) adults who completed self-report questionnaires. Objective exposure was assessed by the number of terrorist attacks and their casualties in a respondent's urban area prior to her/his completion of the questionnaire. Using several alternative assessments, objective exposure to terror did not predict SRH for both the genders. As hypothesized, fear of terror negatively predicted SRH for both females and males (β = -0.04, -0.05, respectively). The effects of subjective and objective exposure were not found to be more pronounced among women relative to men, thus disconfirmingour hypotheses in this regard. Our findings suggest that living under continuous fear of terror may adversely influence physical health irrespective of objective exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-271
Number of pages15
JournalBritish Journal of Health Psychology
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2008

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