Living in a continuous traumatic reality: Impact on elderly persons residing in urban and rural communities

Irit Regev, Orit Nuttman-Shwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This study is an exploration of the contribution of exposure to the continuous threat of Qassam rocket attacks to PTSD among elderly residents of urban and rural communities. Specifically, we examined the contribution of sociodemographic variables, psychological resources, and perceived social support to PTSD, and whether this relationship is mediated by cognitive appraisals. The sample consisted of 298 residents of 2 different communities: urban (n = 190), and rural (n = 108). We examined the main research question by calculating the correlations of the sociodemographic variables, the psychological resource (self-esteem), social support, and cognitive appraisals with the dependent variable (PTSD). Our model explained the variance in PTSD (53% for urban residents, and 56% for rural residents). Higher levels of PTSD were found among the urban residents. Most of the predictors contributed to PTSD, but differences were found between each type of community with regard to the combination of components. Results indicated that the type of community is related degree of protection against stress-related triggers such as Qassam rockets. The psychological resource (self-esteem) and cognitive appraisal variables were found to be important for older people facing a continuous threat, and can serve as a basis for professional intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)652-661
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Orthopsychiatry
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognitive appraisals
  • Continuous threat
  • PTSD

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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