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Publication Date


Subject: LCSH

Post-traumatic stress disorder, Personality, Gaza War, 2014


Can the onset of PTSD symptoms and depression be predicted by personality factors and thought control strategies? A logical explanation for the different mental health outcomes of individuals exposed to trauma would seem to be personality factors and thought control strategies. Trauma exposure is necessary but not sufficient for the development of PTSD. To this end, we assess the role of personality traits and coping styles in PTSD vulnerability among Israeli and Palestinian students amid conflict.We also determine whether gender and exposure level to trauma impact the likelihood of the onset of PTSD symptoms. Five questionnaires assess previous trauma, PTSD symptoms, demographics, personality factors and thought control strategies, which are analyzed using path analysis. Findings show that the importance of personality factors and thought control strategies in predicting vulnerability increases in the face of political violence: the higher stress, the more important the roles of personality and thought control strategies. Thought control strategies associated with introverted and less emotionally stable personality-types correlate positively with higher levels of PTSD symptoms and depression, particularly among Palestinians. By extension, because mental health is key to reducing violence in the region, PTSD reduction in conflict zones warrants rethinking.


This is an open access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. Data Availability Statement: Data are available from Figshare (DOI:10.6084/m9.figshare.3422662).



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Publisher Citation

Canetti D, Kimhi S, Hanoun R, Rocha GA, Galea S, Morgan CA III (2016) How Personality Affects Vulnerability among Israelis and Palestinians following the 2009 Gaza Conflict. PLoS ONE 11(7):e0156278. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0156278