The relationship between exposure to terror through the media, coping strategies and resources, and distress and secondary traumatization

Hasida Ben-Zur, Sharon Gil, Yinon Shamshins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The study's main aim was to examine secondary traumatization among Israeli students. A sample of 203 university students in Israel, 41 men (20%) and 162 women (80%), aged 23.9 years on average, completed questionnaires on media exposure during terror attacks, posttraumatic and distress symptoms, coping styles, and personal resources of mastery and dispositional optimism. The main results showed that higher media exposure during terror attacks was related positively to higher levels of distress and posttraumatic symptoms. Higher resource levels were related to lower levels of posttraumatic symptoms, whereas greater use of avoidance coping was related to higher distress. These data suggest that the media, which tends to magnify and reinforce the effects of terror acts, can prompt secondary traumatization, and demonstrate the importance of an awareness of the risks of vicarious exposure to terror and trauma through the media.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-150
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Stress Management
Volume19
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012

Keywords

  • Coping
  • Distress
  • Media exposure
  • Resources
  • Terror acts
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Business, Management and Accounting (all)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychology (all)

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