Settler Children an Gulf War
Charles W. Greenbaum
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Yosef H. Toubiana
Tel Aviv University
The various stresses to which human beings are exposed have some common elements and some elements that are unique. The stresses faced by children in the Gulf War have some unique qualities. At the same time, these stresses may have enough general characteristics to allow us to expand our perspective on stress and to contribute to a theory of the effects of stress on children.
The present study attempted to determine whether exposure of Israeli Jewish children to a long-term stress, the Palestinian intifada, affected their response to the short-term, time-limited stress of the Gulf War. Previous research performed on other stresses may not be a good guide for understanding the reactions of children to the stresses of the Gulf War. There is a basic problem with such research involving the identification of the stressor. A child exposed to war may be exposed to a multitude of stressors: physical threat, actual physical or psychological trauma, deprivation, loss, malnutrition, bereavement, abuse, or various other stressors. It is often difficult to understand which of these traumatic events, or which combination of them, has affected the child.
These problems limit the generalizations that can be drawn from previous research on the effects of war on children, because different stresses are involved in each case. This is true, for example, of the studies of Freud and Burlingham ( 1943), Fraser ( 1979) and Arroyo and Eth ( 1985). Although stress is common to each situation studied, each situation is unique. Situations differ with regard to the combination of stressors they include. In fact, much theorizing on the effects of stress, such as the valuable work done by Janis ( 1958), Lazarus ( 1991), and Lazarus and Folkman ( 1984)
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Publication information: Book title: The Psychological Effects of War and Violence on Children. Contributors: Lewis A. Leavitt - Editor, Nathan A. Fox - Editor. Publisher: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Place of publication: Hillsdale, NJ. Publication year: 1993. Page number: 109.
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