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NCJ Number: 70284 Find in a Library
Title: Victims of Terrorism - The Effects of Prolonged Stress
Journal: Evaluation and Change  Dated:Special Issue (1980)  Pages:76-83
Author(s): R M Fields
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 8
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Victims of terrorization develop physiological and emotional problems which can be permanent. Social suupport systems, including psychotherapy, that come into play after the captives are released are crucial to their rehabilitation.
Abstract: Studies of Northern Irish political prisoners and Washington, D.C., hostages of the Hanafi Muslims, along with empirical data from other studies, show that prolonged exposure to stressful conditions can have physiological consequences. These include alterations of the cardiovascular system that may result in pathology and premature mortality, lower resistance to infection, and anxiety syndromes and psychoneurotic tendencies related to the anxiety. The adverse effects are greater for those victims who have experienced much stress previously, are younger and less secure in their identity, and who are isolated or isolate themselves from other victims. However, there seems to be little training available for learning to cope with the trauma of terrorization. Once released from captivity, the effects of the stress are either ameliorated or exacerbated by such social support systems as family, friends, and psychotherapy. Especially crucial is the time immediately after the release. More research on the nature of stress is necessary to design effective help for the victims and their families. References are included.
Index Term(s): Hostage survival; Hostage syndromes; Hostages; Psychological victimization effects; Victims of terrorism
Note: An earlier version of this article was prepared for presentation at the Second Annual Conference of the International Society for Political Psychology, Washington, DC, May 24,1979
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