The spark that might have ignited the fire: The association of cognitive and psychological factors with state anxiety in light of the Syrian-Israeli incident

Yaira Hamama-Raz, Michal Mahat-Shamir, Lia Ring, Shani Pitcho-Prelorentzos, Menachem Ben-Ezra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The current study aimed to explore Israelis’ state anxiety due to a Syrian-Israeli incident that occurred on February 10, 2018, when an Israeli F-16 fighter jet was shot down by Syrian air defense forces. In line with the “looming vulnerability” model which emphasizes the importance of the dynamic nature of psychologically threatening situations, the following psychological factors were suggested: associative memory of prior events, worries of future war, sense of safety, and death anxiety. We employed two cross-sectional points of time in our assessment: 36 hours and three months after the incident. Using an online survey, 162 adult participants were recruited in Study 1 and 172 in Study 2. The participants completed set of questionnaires measuring state anxiety along with other psychological measures. The results of the two studies suggested that higher levels of worry of future war and lower levels of sense of safety associated with higher state anxiety. The looming vulnerability model and variables associated with state anxiety were found to have a salient role in explaining state anxiety as a response to a negative unexpected event.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)815-821
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatry Research
Volume270
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Associative memory worries
  • Death anxiety
  • Looming vulnerability
  • Sense of safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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