A Study of Subjective Well-Being, Resilience, and Risk of PTSD among Israeli Adolescents Exposed to Terrorism

Yael Israel-Cohen, Gabriela Kashy-Rosenbaum, Oren Kaplan


While many studies have analyzed the role of subjective well-being components in building psychological resilience in times of stress, there is also evidence that certain aspects of well-being may be tied to increased risk of psychological distress in the aftermath of a traumatic event. Based on a sample of 368 Israeli adolescents surveyed before and after a bout of missile attacks on their city, this study investigates (a) the relationship between subjective well-being components (hope, life satisfaction, and positive and negative affect) and PTSD, thereby assessing their role as protective or risk factors, and (b) changes in the latter well-being measures from before to after the attacks, thereby assessing individuals’ ability to “bounce back” to prior levels of well-being. Using structural educational modeling, our study revealed that life satisfaction was the only subjective well-being factor before the attacks to serve as a protective factor against PTSD symptoms. Negative affect and hope before the attacks served as direct risk factors, while positive affect served as an indirect risk factor. There was a significant increase in hope from before to after the missile attacks, with no change in other well-being measures. Implications of these finding are discussed.


posttraumatic stress, subjective well-being, hope, life satisfaction

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.13165/SIIW-16-2-2-03


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