Children's Affective Reactions and Coping Under Threat of Missile Attack: A Semiprojective Assessment Procedure

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Abstract

This study reports on 170 Israeli school children at risk for missile attack during the Persian Gulf War. The Bar-Ilan Picture Test for Children (Itskowitz & Strauss, 1982, 1986) was specially adapted to the war situation specifically to measure children's affective reactions and coping strategies. Children with a greater sense of control and social support, and more complex defenses, tended to demonstrate better coping strategies. Children who were less defensive showed higher levels of anxiety under stress. Children scoring higher in social support showed greater perceived control over their immediate environment and more verbal expressivity with respect to the crisis situation. Girls scored higher than boys on emotional and verbal expressiveness. These data, elicited through semiprojective procedures, are consistent with much of the prior research based mainly on objective scales or self-report questionnaires. Overall, the results lend additional validity to the nexus of relations (largely established through conventional objective scales) between resources, coping, and outcomes in a naturalistic stressor situation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-457
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Personality Assessment
Volume60
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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