Adolescent exposure to recurrent terrorism in Israel: Posttraumatic distress and functional impairment

Ruth Pat-Horenczyk, Robert Abramovitz, Osnat Peled, Daniel Brom, Ayala Daie, Claude M. Chemtob

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91 Scopus citations


This study examines the impact of exposure to ongoing terrorism on 695 Israeli high school students. Exposure was measured using a questionnaire developed for the security situation in Israel. Posttraumatic symptoms were measured using the UCLA PTSD Index for DSM-IV-Adolescent Version (N. Rodriguez, A. Steinberg, & R. S. Pynoos, 1999), functional impairment and somatic complaints were assessed using items derived from the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children (C. P. Lucas et al., 2001), and depression was measured with the Brief Beck Depression Inventory (A. T. Beck & R. W. Beck, 1972). According to the criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.; American Psychiatric Association, 1994), the prevalence of probable posttraumatic stress disorder was 7.6%. Girls reported greater severity of posttraumatic symptoms, whereas boys exhibited greater functional impairment in social and family domains. School-based screening appears to be an effective means of identifying adolescents who have been exposed to terror and are experiencing posttraumatic stress symptomatology and psychosocial impairment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-85
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Orthopsychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescents
  • Functional impairment
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Screening
  • Terrorism


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