Youth from Fundamentalist Societies: What are Their Attitudes Toward War and Peace and Their Relations with Anxiety Reactions?

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3 Scopus citations


The present study was conducted during “Protective Edge,” a long-lasting military operation between the State of Israel and Hamas in Gaza, during which hundreds of rockets were fired from Gaza into various regions across the country. At the same time, Israeli forces bombed Gaza and sent in ground forces. The military operation ended after 50 days of fighting, with a cease-fire between the warring sides. The aim of this study was to compare attitudes and perceptions of youth from different religious fundamentalist societies, toward the war and their readiness for peace during this specific violent struggle, and attitudes toward the Israeli–Palestinian (I–P) conflict in general. Furthermore, we wanted to examine the links between these attitudes, personal sense of coherence and state anxiety. We compared two groups of adolescents who belong to religious minorities in Israel: ultra-Orthodox and national religious. The sample included a total of 107 subjects from both groups. The young people responded to a questionnaire, distributed during the military operation, while they were still under rocket fire from the Gaza Strip. The questionnaire included: socio-demographic characteristics; attitudes toward the military operation; ways to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict; sense of coherence and state anxiety. Results indicate that both groups thought that the I–P conflict would not be resolved peacefully and that there were more wars to come. Furthermore, both national religious and ultra-Orthodox adolescents thought that this operation would have limited success for only a limited time. Regarding the differences between the groups, sense of coherence was higher among the ultra-Orthodox and this group also believed more than their counterparts that everything was in God’s hands. Interesting results emerged with peaceful resolution being linked to more anxiety among the national religious group, while among the ultra-Orthodox group no relationships were indicated on these two variables. The results of the study underscore the implications of ongoing political conflicts, alongside the growing global power of religion, which minimizes opportunities for world peace.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1064-1080
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Religion and Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2017


  • Attitudes
  • Fundamentalism
  • National religious
  • Peace
  • Sense of coherence
  • State anxiety
  • Ultra-Orthodox
  • War

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing (all)
  • Religious studies


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