How Personality Affects Vulnerability among Israelis and Palestinians following the 2009 Gaza Conflict

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Journal Title, Volume, Page: 
Public Library of Science , 11(7)
Year of Publication: 
Daphna Canetti
Shaul Kimhi
Rasmiyah Hanoun
Faculty of Educational Science, An-Najah National University, Nablus, Palestine
Gabriel A Rocha
Sandro Galea
Charles A Morgan
Preferred Abstract (Original): 

Can the onset of PTSD symptoms and depression be predicted by personality factors and thought control strategies? A logical explanation for the different mental health outcomes of individuals exposed to trauma would seem to be personality factors and thought control strategies. Trauma exposure is necessary but not sufficient for the development of PTSD. To this end, we assess the role of personality traits and coping styles in PTSD vulnerability among Israeli and Palestinian students amid conflict. We also determine whether gender and exposure level to trauma impact the likelihood of the onset of PTSD symptoms. Five questionnaires assess previous trauma, PTSD symptoms, demographics, personality factors and thought control strategies, which are analyzed using path analysis. Findings show that the importance of personality factors and thought control strategies in predicting vulnerability increases in the face of political violence: the higher stress, the more important the roles of personality and thought control strategies. Thought control strategies associated with introverted and less emotionally stable personality-types correlate positively with higher levels of PTSD symptoms and depression, particularly among Palestinians. By extension, because mental health is key to reducing violence in the region, PTSD reduction in conflict zones warrants rethinking.

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