Gil, Sharon, Michael Weinberg, Keren Or-Chen, and Hila Harel. “Risk Factors for DSM 5 PTSD Symptoms in Israeli Civilians during the Gaza War.” Brain and Behavior 5.4 (2015).
In light of the current modifications presented in the diagnostic criteria of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the DSM 5, this study aimed at revalidating well-known PTSD risk factors, including gender, peritraumatic dissociation, social support, level of threat, and trait tendency for forgiveness.
Five hundred and one Israeli civilians were assessed during real-time exposure to missile and rocket fire at the eruption of the Gaza war. Assessments took place approximately one to 2 weeks after the beginning of this military operation, relying on web administration of the study, which allowed simultaneous data collection from respondents in the three regions in Israel that were under attack.
A structural equation model design revealed that higher levels of forgiveness toward situations were associated with fewer PTSD symptoms, whereas peritraumatic dissociation and high levels of objective and subjective threat were positively associated with PTSD symptoms. Additionally, females were at higher risk for PTSD symptoms than males.
The findings of this study provide further evidence for the importance of directing preventive attention to those vulnerable to the development of elevated levels of PTSD symptoms. Theoretical and clinical implications of the findings are discussed.