Individual differences in anxiety, coping, and post-traumatic stress in the aftermath of the Persian Gulf war

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Abstract

This paper explores individual differences in the post-traumatic reactions of Israelis following the grave experience of exposure to missile attacks during the Persian Gulf War. Data were gathered about 3 months following the cease fire in the Persian Gulf War on a sample of 822 adult respondents. Demographic and personal variables, coping and perceived stress emotions at time of war were assessed as correlates of post-traumatic stress and affective reactions after the war. The results imply that the effects of the war on key variables, i.e. post-traumatic stress, anxiety, bodily symptoms, as well as changes in everyday functioning and general attitudes, were rather weak. Trait-anxiety and emotion-focused coping appeared to be the most salient variables associated with stress-related variables across the various analyses. In addition, respondents' affective reactions in the post-traumatic stress period were compared with those of a sample tested during the war. Levels of state-anxiety were found to be substantially lower in the post-war sample than the war sample. Overall, the data appear to be more consistent with the predictions of the "evaporation" than the "residual effects" hypothesis. The data were discussed and explicated in the context of post-traumatic stress and coping theory and research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)459-476
Number of pages18
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Volume16
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology (all)

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