Terrorism is defined in Title 22 of the US Code, Section 2656f(d), as “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups … intended to influence an audience”. The use of force against a civilian population in an attempt to effect change is, by design, grander in scope than physical injury and destruction of property. Indeed, research demonstrates that contact with terrorism is associated with increased rates of psychological distress, functional impairment, traumatic stress-related symptoms, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD; Hoven et al. 2005; Schuster et al. 2001; Silver et al. 2002). Broadly speaking, research indicates that the extent (i.e., “dose”) of terrorism-related exposure is associated with postattack functioning, but a host of other key factors – including peritraumatic distress, social support, and individual differences in coping – greatly affect postattack functioning as well.
The psychological impact of...
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