Exposure to terrorism and violent behavior among adolescents in Israel

Merov Solomon Even-Chen, Haya Irzhaky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


It is commonly assumed that exposure to terrorism may lead to violent behavior, but there is little empirical research on the relationship between these two variables. In the present paper, we examined the extent to which exposure to terrorism contributes to violent behavior among adolescents. In addition, we considered the role of environmental factors (domestic and community violence) and personal and environmental resources (family and social support, mastery, hope, and life satisfaction). Two hundred and fifty-four Israeli adolescents residing in areas with different levels of exposure to terrorism completed questionnaires. The findings confirm that exposure to terrorism contributes significantly to violent behavior. Exposure to domestic and community violence and mastery also contributed to explaining the variance in violent behavior, whereas the effects of hope and life satisfaction were indirect, and were expressed only in an interaction with variables of exposure to terrorism. The findings may be helpful in identifying groups at risk for violent behavior, as well as in guiding professionals to moderate and prevent such behavior. The findings also emphasize the impact of security-related stress situations and prolonged exposure to terrorism on manifestations of violence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-55
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Community Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007


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