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Women Health. 2006;43(3):1-19.

Are women at higher risk than men? Gender differences among teenagers and adults in their response to threat of war and terror.

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Psychology Department, Tel Hai Academic College, Upper Galilee 12210, Israel.


The present study examined whether women are at higher risk of developing stress reactions in situations of war and terror. The study looked at gender differences within two samples-teenagers (n = 353) and adults (n = 890)-regarding the impact of stress that developed in response to a situation of threat of war and terror as a result of Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon. The study tested: (1) gender differences regarding cognitive appraisal of the stressor, coping styles, psychological symptoms, and life satisfaction; (2) whether cognitive appraisal and coping styles mediated gender differences in psychological symptoms and life satisfaction; and (3) whether the two age groups differed regarding the contribution of gender to the studied variables. The results revealed that among the teenagers, gender differences were found only in cognitive appraisal and psychological symptoms, while among adults, gender differences were found in all the studied variables. The results support the mediating hypothesis with regard to psychological symptoms, but not with regard to life satisfaction. The results also show a different contribution of gender in each of the age groups regarding psychological symptoms, but not regarding life satisfaction, which leaves some doubt regarding the assumptions that women tend to be more affected by stress than men.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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