The yom kippur war: The soldier on the front and his family

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Abstract

The present report illustrates how uncertainty, continued stress and the transient ”commuter” role of the soldier in the Yom Kippur War led to psychological disequilibrium on both the individual and familial level. On the individual level such phenomena as anger outbursts, apathy, depression and secondary impotence were observed and reported. These were often relieved through group discussions in the soldier’s unit about the universality of such reactions to stress. On the familial level regressive behaviors, disciplinary problems, spouse conflict and diffuse anxiety were among the phenomena reported. In group discussions with soldiers and their spouses, it was suggested that candid and clear communication about the father-soldier’s whereabouts and the nature of his military duties were necessary to prevent regression and permit active coping behavior. Conflicting expectations and role change resulting from the war situation were discussed in terms of how these might affect the family’s functioning in such realms as child rearing, spouse relations and other familial matters. Death, mourning and bereavement were also discussed and it was suggested that family and friends are often more effective than professionals in helping relatives of the deceased do their mourning work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-64
Number of pages9
JournalThe American Journal of Family Therapy
Volume9
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1981

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