Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 488–502

The Role of Family and Teacher Support in Post-traumatic Stress Symptoms Among Palestinian Adolescents Exposed to Community Violence

  • Becky Leshem
  • Muhammad M. Haj-Yahia
  • Neil B. Guterman
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10826-015-0226-3

Cite this article as:
Leshem, B., Haj-Yahia, M.M. & Guterman, N.B. J Child Fam Stud (2016) 25: 488. doi:10.1007/s10826-015-0226-3


Extensive research has been conducted in recent decades on the mental health consequences of Palestinians’ exposure to military and political violence. Despite the alarming rates of Palestinian youth exposure to community violence (ECV), there is a serious dearth of research on the effects of this pattern of exposure. The current study focused on the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms among Palestinian adolescents as a result of their ECV. The study also examines the ability of perceived support from family and teachers to moderate the relationship between ECV and PTSD symptoms, and the involvement of demographic and socioeconomic variables in explaining this development. A sample of 1930 Palestinian secondary school students, aged 12–19, from the West Bank and East Jerusalem, answered questionnaires. Data analysis used univariate, bivariate, and multivariate methods, including SEM. The prevalence of PTSD symptoms was predicted by past year ECV, family support, teacher support, residential density, parents’ education, age, and gender. SEM analysis validated additional relationship paths between variables. Results are discussed, suggesting future research with theoretical and practical implications.


Community violence Palestinian adolescents PTSD Family support Teacher support 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Becky Leshem
    • 2
  • Muhammad M. Haj-Yahia
    • 1
  • Neil B. Guterman
    • 3
  1. 1.The Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social WelfareThe Hebrew University of Jerusalem Mt. ScopusJerusalemIsrael
  2. 2.The School of Special Education at, Achva CollegeAshkelonIsrael
  3. 3.The School of Social Service AdministrationChicagoUSA

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