Mental health officers' causal explanations of combat stress reaction

Dina Shalom*, Rami Benbenishty, Zahava Solomon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examined causal attributions for combat stress reaction (CSR) among 117 Israel Defense Forces (IDF) mental health officers. The impact of case characteristics (the level of objective stress in the situation, reaction of others in the same situation, soldier's previous functioning, and type of symptomatology) and respondent characteristics (professional affiliation, therapeutic orientation) on these attributions was also examined. Results show that mental health officers view CSR primarily as a response to external circumstances; it is not generally seen as resulting from personality traits or intrapsychic processes. Findings also indicate that causal attributions were influenced at least to some degree by the clinicians' professional affiliation, their therapeutic orientation, and their knowledge of the casualty's prior functioning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-269
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Traumatic Stress
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1995


  • Israel Defense Forces
  • combat stress reaction
  • mental health officers


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