The inoculating role of previous exposure to potentially traumatic life events on coping with prolonged exposure to rocket attacks: A lifespan perspective

Yuval Palgi, Marc Gelkopf, Rony Berger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Relatively little research have addressed the effect of prolonged exposure to rocket attacks with a lifespan perspective and only a handful of these studies focused on the effect of this exposure as a function of aging. The present study examined the effects of seven years of rocket attacks fired toward the south of Israel on adult participants of different ages. We examined whether potentially traumatic life events (PTLEs) unrelated to rocket attacks moderated the association between post-traumatic stress (PTS) symptoms and age. Data were obtained from a 2007 telephone survey using the Random Digit Dialing method and including 343 individuals (76.7% participation rate). Exposure to rockets, PTLEs, global distress, and post-traumatic symptomatology were assessed. Older age was associated with a higher level of PTS symptoms. Higher PTLE levels attenuated the association between age and PTS symptoms. Our results suggest that age is a risk factor for developing PTS symptoms under prolonged exposure to rocket attacks. However, previous levels of exposure to other negative events, as well as gender, appear to inoculate a person to stress, thus modulating the age-PTS association.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296-301
Number of pages6
JournalPsychiatry Research
Volume227
Issue number2-3
DOIs
StatePublished - 30 Jun 2015

Keywords

  • Chronic stress
  • Older adults
  • PTSD
  • Potentially traumatic life events
  • Rocket attacks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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