An Application of an Ecological Framework to Understand Risk Factors of PTSD Due to Prolonged Conflict Exposure: Israeli and Palestinian Adolescents in the Line of Fire

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Abstract

Objective: Adolescents living in Israel and the Palestinian authority are exposed to political violence. This review examines psychosocial risk factors for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) organized within an ecological framework. Method: Relevant articles were identified through PubMed and PsycINFO. Studies measuring risk and/or protective factors for PTSD in the Palestinian and/or Israeli adolescent populations because of conflict exposure from 1990 to present were included. Results: A total of 20 studies met inclusion criteria. Greater violence exposure, poor economic resources, living in rural compared with urban areas, poor family and peer relations, and poor coping skills were associated with PTSD symptoms. Conclusions: The ecological framework is a useful approach to understanding factors affecting adolescent PTSD. Future research should focus on socioecological levels that have received limited attention.

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