Does sense of threat in civilians during an armed conflict predict subsequent depression symptoms?

Aviva Goral, Talya Greene, Marc Gelkopf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: We aimed to assess whether peritraumatic threat experienced during a period of armed conflict predicted subsequent depression symptoms. Method: Ninety-six Israeli civilians provided real-time reports of exposure to rocket warning sirens and subjective sense of threat, twice daily for 30 days, during the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict. Depression symptoms were reported 2 months after the conflict. Mixed-effects models were used to estimate peritraumatic threat levels and peritraumatic threat reactivity (within-person elevations in threat following siren exposure). These were then assessed as predictors of depression symptoms at 2 months in an adjusted regression model. Results: Individual peritraumatic threat level, but not peritraumatic threat reactivity, was a significant predictor of 2 months depression symptoms, even after controlling for baseline depression symptoms. Conclusions: The findings imply that in situations of ongoing exposure, screening for perceived levels of peritraumatic threat might be useful in identifying those at risk for developing subsequent depression symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1293-1303
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • acute stress
  • depression
  • experience sampling
  • peritraumatic symptoms
  • sense of threat
  • trauma
  • war

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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