Long-term stress reactions in new immigrants to Israel exposed to the chernobyl accident

Julie G. Cwikel, Anna Abdelgani, Uri Rozovski, Ella Kordysh, John R. Goldsmith, Mike R. Quastel

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14 Scopus citations


This comparison study examined the relation between presumed level of exposure to the accident at Chernobyl in 1986 to symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other psychological symptoms (depression, somatization, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive style and interpersonal sensitivity), life events and the negative appraisal of the events surrounding the accident. The sample (N = 708) included new immigrants from the former Soviet Union (Confederation of Independent States) who arrived in Israel since 1989 from more exposed areas (n = 137), less exposed (n = 240) and a comparison sample (n = 331) who immigrated from other republics. The exposed groups had higher mean scores on all psychological outcome measures than the comparison group, particularly symptoms of PTSD. Both subsequent stressful life events and a negative, cognitive assessment of events contributed to present psychological distress, independent of exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-439
Number of pages27
JournalAnxiety, Stress and Coping
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2000


  • Appraisal of events
  • Disasters
  • Immigrants
  • Nuclear power
  • PTSD


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