The Relationship of Self-Concept and Social Support to Emotional Distress among Women during War

Citation:

Hobfoll, Stevan. E., and Perry London. 1986. "The Relationship of Self-Concept and Social Support to Emotional Distress among Women during War." Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology 4 (2): 189-203.

Authors: Stevan E. Hobfoll, Perry London

Abstract:

Few studies have examined immediate stress resistance during massive crisis. In this paper, 56 Israeli women whose loved ones were mobilized into the Israeli Defence Forces were evaluated as to their coping resources and psychological distress during the first week of the June 1982 Israel-Lebanon conflict. Coping traits (self-esteem and mastery) were negatively related to psychological distress (state anxiety and state depression). These internal coping traits were seen as immediately available to individuals, despite the suddenness of the event. Contrary to predictions, social support was related to greater psychological distress. The unexpected findings for social support are attributed to a "pressure-cooker" effect, whereby war rumors were spread rapidly and women with more intimate relationships were more exposed to the sorrows of others. Alternatively, social support may have been adversive to women with high self-esteem who chose to master life challenges independently. The importance of studying immediate resistance to massive stressors is discussed.

Keywords: anxiety, depression, mental health

Topics: Gender, Women, Health, Mental Health, Trauma, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Israel

Year: 1986

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