The Effects of Perceived Community Cohesion on Stress Symptoms Following a Terrorist Attack

Eli Somer, Shira Maguen, Victor Moin, Amnon Boehm, Thomas J. Metzler, Brett T. Litz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effects of community cohesion were explored following a terrorist attack in Israel, during which an explosion on a public bus in a metropolitan city killed and wounded multiple individuals. Participants were 115 Israelis who resided in three specified perimeters around the area of impact. Data collected immediately following the attack and 1 month later included demographics, proximity and exposure to the terrorist event, community cohesion, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. For individuals reporting low and moderate degrees of exposure to the terror event, PTSD symptoms increased as community cohesion increased. However, for those with high exposure, PTSD symptoms and community cohesion were inversely related. Furthermore, for those who lived closest to the terror event, as community cohesion increased, PTSD symptoms decreased. However, for individuals who lived farther away from the terror event, community cohesion was positively associated with PTSD symptoms. One month following the attack, community cohesion did not significantly predict PTSD symptoms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-90
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Psychological Trauma
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2008


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