Forgiveness, coping, and terrorism: Do tendency to forgive and coping strategies associate with the level of posttraumatic symptoms of injured victims of terror attacks?

Michael Weinberg, Sharon Gil, Ora Gilbar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: The study examined the tendency to forgive (self, others, and situations) and coping strategies (problem-focused, emotion-focused, and avoidance) among terror attack victims as associated with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom severity. Method: The sample included 108 terror victims who had been injured in terror attacks (mean age 46.23, standard deviation = 11.61; 58.3% male). Participants agreed to undergo assessments of their PTSD symptoms, coping strategies, and tendency to forgive. Results: A nested structural equation model design showed that tendency to forgive is positively associated with problem-focused coping and negatively associated with avoidance coping. Additionally, tendency to forgive and problem-focused coping are associated with decreased PTSD symptom severity, whereas emotion-focused coping is associated with elevated PTSD symptom severity. Conclusions: Tendency to forgive and coping strategies are significantly associated with each other and with severity of PTSD symptoms among individuals injured in terror attacks. Theoretical and clinical implications of the findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)693-703
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology
Volume70
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Coping strategies
  • Tendency to forgive
  • Terror victims
  • Trauma

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