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NCJ Number: 99071 Find in a Library
Title: Six-Year Follow-Up of Hostage Victims
Journal: Terrorism  Volume:7  Issue:4  Dated:(1985)  Pages:411-415
Author(s): D A Soskis; O Ayalon
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 5
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: To examine the long-term effects of terrorist victimization and victim coping strategies, interviews were conducted with five survivors of a major terrorist incident in Israel 6 years following the incident.
Abstract: All five subjects continued to experience negative thoughts and feelings about the incident, and three clearly met DSM-III diagnostic criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder. Common symptoms included insecurity, phobias, sleep disorders, startle responses, and anger. None of the survivors found subsequent psychological and social/financial services helpful in coping. During the incident, religious thinking and behaviors were perceived as the most useful coping techniques. Coping techniques used by the survivors in the 6 years following the incident showed considerable diversity. Helping and sharing experiences with other former hostages and religious thinking and behavior were the most commonly cited strategies. Other strategies mentioned included safety-seeking ritualized behavior, compensatory behavior (such as volunteering for the army), and denial or avoidance of the incident. Results suggest that, in view of the persistence of post-traumatic symptomatology and the disappointing effectiveness of standard intervention methods, clinicians should pay attention to the potential adaptive value of cognitive strategies and behaviors that may be the focus of treatment efforts in other settings. Attempts to modify these symptomatic behaviors, if undertaken at all, should be approached with caution. Six notes are included.
Index Term(s): Hostages; Israel; Longitudinal studies; Post-trauma stress disorder (PTSD); Psychological victimization effects; Stress management; Victim reactions to crime; Victim services; Victims of terrorism
Note: Preliminary version presented at the Third International Conference on Psychological Stress and Adjustment in the Time of War and Peace, Tel Aviv, Israel, January 3-7, 1983.
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