A new study by researchers at Israel’s Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
shows a link between violence by Israeli adolescents and prolonged
exposure to rocket attacks from the Gaza strip.
Researchers observed 362 Israeli adolescents who reside in the southwestern Negev between 2009 and 2011, conducting annual tests to measure the extent of exposure to rocket attacks from Gaza, symptoms of anxiety and depression, and violent behavior. The results were published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
“The main finding of our study was that prolonged exposure to rocket attacks predicted a steep increase in violent incidents reported by the adolescent participants. Some incidents resulted in physical fights that required medical treatment, as well as gang fights, and arrests for violent crimes, carrying knives or other weapons,” said Prof. Golan Shahar of Ben-Gurion University’s Department of Psychology.
“These findings should serve as a red flag for health care practitioners in civil areas afflicted by terrorism and political violence,” he added.