Parental Practices and Political Violence: The Protective Role of Parental Warmth and Authority-Control in Jewish and Arab Israeli Children

Iris Lavi, Michelle Slone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Parental warmth and parental authority-control patterns have been documented as practices with highest significance for children's well-being and development in a variety of life areas. Various forms of these practices have been shown to have a direct positive effect on children and also to protect children from adverse effects of numerous stressors. However, surprisingly, few studies have examined the role of these practices as possible protective factors for children exposed to intractable conflict and political violence. Participants in this study were Jewish (n=88) and Arab (n=105) Israeli families, with children aged 7-12.5 (M=10.73, SD=0.99). Children completed questionnaires assessing political violence exposure, behavioral, psychological, and social difficulties, and perceived paternal and maternal warmth. Mothers and fathers completed questionnaires assessing parental warmth, parental authority-control, and the child's difficulties. Results showed parental warmth to be a significant moderator of political violence, related to low levels of behavioral and social difficulties of children. Parental authority-control patterns were not protectors from adverse effects of political violence exposure. Maternal authoritarian authority-control showed an effect resembling a risk factor. Differential roles of parental warmth and authority-control, fathers' versus mothers' roles, and ethnic differences are discussed, and practical clinical implications are proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)550-561
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Orthopsychiatry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Authoritarian parental style
  • Authoritative parental style
  • Children exposed to political violence
  • Jewish Israelis, Arab Israelis
  • Parental authority-control patterns
  • Parental roles
  • Parental warmth
  • Parents exposed to political violence
  • Permissive parental style

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)


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