Gender group differences in terror–stress, cognitive appraisals, ways of coping with terror, and stress reactions were explored in a sample of Israeli adults following prolonged exposure to political violence. Data were gathered at the height of the Al-Aqsa Intifada uprising (May/July 2002) from a sample of 707 adult participants (60% women and 40% men) residing in Haifa and northern Israel. Israeli women reported that they were more distressed by political violence than the men did, and they also appraised the crisis situation as more threatening and less manageable. Women reported using more problem-focused as well as emotion-focused coping than men did; both men and women used a mixture of coping strategies. Compared to men, women reported that they experienced more somatic symptoms and more frequent posttraumatic stress symptoms than men did. Negative affectivity was found to mediate gender differences in appraisals, coping, and outcomes. Overall, the nexus of relations among key variables was found to be highly similar for men and women. These data suggest that women may be more reactive to chronic political violence situations than men are. The data are discussed and explicated in the context of stress and coping theory and prior research on political violence and community disasters.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 1, 2006
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