Families in the Sealed Room: Interaction Patterns of Israeli Families During SCUD Missile Attacks


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This study attempted to delineate styles of family interaction and behavior during war. Sixty‐six families were randomly selected during the first week of the Gulf War and were telephone‐interviewed using a semi‐structured questionnaire. Qualitative methodology was used to analyze the interview transcripts. Three themes emerged: the emotional atmosphere (degree of expressed stress), mode of family organization, and extent and form of interpersonal relationship. When these categories were considered, four types of families were found: (1) the Anxious Family, characterized by high level of stress, low role distribution, negative interaction style; (2) the Cautious Family, with high stress, clear role allocation, positive interaction among members; (3) the Confident Family, typified by low stress level, clear role allocation, and positive non‐interaction; and (4) the Indifferent family, characterized by low stress level, no role allocation, and negative non‐interaction. These findings are discussed in terms of recent attempts to clarify the concept and describe the process of family coping, as well as in terms of understanding family behavior in other stressful situations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-44
Number of pages10
JournalFamily Process
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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