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Anxiety Stress Coping. 2008 Jul;21(3):243-61. doi: 10.1080/10615800701510124.

The relation between actual exposure to political violence and preparatory intervention for exposure to media coverage of terrorism.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Tel Aviv University, Israel.


This laboratory study examined differential effects of television broadcasts of terrorism on viewers' anxiety according to their actual exposure history, and differential efficacy of a preparatory intervention in moderating elevated anxiety for high or low actual exposure. Participants were 80 young Israeli adults, randomly allocated to a terrorism or non-terrorism media broadcast, and for each type of exposure, to a preparatory or control intervention. Actual political violence and terrorism exposure history was assessed, and anxiety measured explicitly and indirectly prior and subsequent to the intervention and media exposure manipulation. Results showed that in the terrorism media exposure, participants with high more than low actual political life events (PLE) exposure showed higher post-test levels of indirectly measured anxiety. Clinical intervention before the terrorism media exposure moderated indirectly measured anxiety among participants with high PLE exposure, but increased anxiety for low PLE. Findings outline preparatory measures that could maximize coping for the high PLE actual exposure at-risk sector.

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