Political Violence and Palestinian High School Students’ Mental Health, 2008 Study

In 2008, four researchers from Al-Quds University in Jerusalem surveyed more than 2000 Palestinian high school students from the Gaza Strip and West Bank in an attempt to gauge the psychological effects of chronic political violence and Israeli governing policies. The researchers employed the same questionnaire as Muhammad Haj-Yahia’s 2004 study to evaluate subjects’ experiences of potentially affective events. They then looked for relationships between such experiences and subjects’ reported symptoms of post-traumatic stress (PTS), as well as their quotidian activities. The researchers concluded that experiences of political violence correlated positively with PTS, although the specific symptoms varied based on gender and other factors. The report also includes an appeal for further study into factors that may make Palestinian children more resilient to PTS in order to develop effective psychological assistance programs.

The article is available to subscribers through the Sage database, as well as in the print edition of the International Journal of Behavioral Development. Full citation:

Ziad Abdeen et. al., “Psychological Reactions to Israeli Occupation: Findings from the National Study of School-Based Screening in Palestine,” in International Journal of Behavioral Development 32 (2008), 290-297.

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