Multiple losses of social resources following collective trauma: The case of the forced relocation from Gush Katif

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Collective trauma may lead to a pervasive loss of personal and social resources. The current study used a mixed method design to explore losses of social connections and affiliations following the collective trauma of forced relocation. A sample of 269 relocated residents from Gush Katif completed open-ended questionnaires regarding their ability to cope following the relocation, as well as questionnaires regarding their sense of belonging to the country, their sense of alienation from government institutions, post traumatic symptoms, and well-being. Three themes emerged in the qualitative stage of the study as the primary losses experienced by participants: loss of physical place and landscape, loss of a sense of belonging to Israeli society, and loss of trust and alienation from the country's institutions. The quantitative stage revealed a complementary picture, with lower place commitment and higher alienation contributing directly both to post traumatic symptoms and to a reduced sense of well-being. In addition, a sense of alienation from the institutions of the country mediated the associations between the sense of belonging to the country and post traumatic symptoms and well-being. These findings are discussed in relation to the concept of social capital as a key factor in explaining one's ability to cope with collective trauma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-65
Number of pages10
JournalPsychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • alienation
  • collective trauma
  • forced relocation
  • place attachment
  • sense of belonging


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