Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 47, Issue 1, pp 35–46 | Cite as

Who is Prone to React to Coinciding Threats of Terrorism and War? Exploring Vulnerability Through Global Versus Differential Reactivity

  • Dov Shmotkin
  • Giora Keinan
Original Paper


This study addressed reactions of Israelis to terrorism and the confrontation with Iraq when these threats coincided in 2003. A sample of 471 participants (age range 19–88) rated affective, cognitive, and behavioral reactions to each threat. Stronger reactions related to higher neuroticism, lower education, and being a woman; reactions to the confrontation with Iraq also related to lower extraversion and being a Holocaust survivor. Participants reacting predominantly to terrorism revealed higher conscientiousness and better subjective health. The study suggests that global reactivity to a critical dual-stressor situation is linked with risk factors of vulnerability whereas differential reactivity may indicate adaptability.


Terrorism War Stress reactions Mental health Israel 



We are indebted to Ruth Zeligman for her assistance in conducting the research. We thank Yossi Schwartz and Niv Gross for their help.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael

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