Israeli morale during the gulf war

Ephraim Yuchtman-yaar*, Yochanan Peres, Dafna Goldberg-anabi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper reports findings of a study on the influence of the Gulf War on the morale level of Israeli men and women. Having at our disposal panel data from the pre-war period, we were able to measure the changes in morale over time at the individual level by means of a standardized questionnaire. On the basis of previous theory and research, we expected that individual morale would be affected by proximity to risk areas and by gender. The results indicate that, taking the panel as a whole, the missile attacks had only a small adverse effect on individual morale. Contrary to our expectations, we found that people living in high-risk areas did not experience greater decline in morale than residents of the low-risk communities. However, there has been a salient difference in the effect of the war on the basis of gender: whereas the morale of women did not change, we found an appreciable decline in the morale level of Israel's men. These results are discussed in terms of the unique features of the Gulf War with regard to the civilian population: while females were preoccupied with various activities related to the needs of the family, Israel's men became demoralized because they were unable to perform their traditional roles as soldiers and protectors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366-382
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Public Opinion Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1995


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