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09-06-2015 | Original Paper | Uitgave 2/2016

Journal of Child and Family Studies 2/2016

The Role of Family and Teacher Support in Post-traumatic Stress Symptoms Among Palestinian Adolescents Exposed to Community Violence

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 2/2016
Becky Leshem, Muhammad M. Haj-Yahia, Neil B. Guterman


Extensive research has been conducted in recent decades on the mental health consequences of Palestinians’ exposure to military and political violence. Despite the alarming rates of Palestinian youth exposure to community violence (ECV), there is a serious dearth of research on the effects of this pattern of exposure. The current study focused on the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms among Palestinian adolescents as a result of their ECV. The study also examines the ability of perceived support from family and teachers to moderate the relationship between ECV and PTSD symptoms, and the involvement of demographic and socioeconomic variables in explaining this development. A sample of 1930 Palestinian secondary school students, aged 12–19, from the West Bank and East Jerusalem, answered questionnaires. Data analysis used univariate, bivariate, and multivariate methods, including SEM. The prevalence of PTSD symptoms was predicted by past year ECV, family support, teacher support, residential density, parents’ education, age, and gender. SEM analysis validated additional relationship paths between variables. Results are discussed, suggesting future research with theoretical and practical implications.

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