Study Links Certain Characteristics With ISIS Anxiety

Summary: Researchers report being female, having lower socio-economic status and having higher levels of PTSD symptoms are most associated to anxiety over potential terror attacks.

Source: Wiley.

A new study examines the characteristics of individuals who are most likely to have anxiety concerning threats posed by ISIS.

In the study of 1007 adult Israelis, being female, having a lower socio-economic status, and having elevated levels of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms were related to ISIS anxiety. Exposure to ISIS in the media and having low resilience were also linked to ISIS anxiety. Finally, the PTD-ISIS relationship was especially pronounced when the mental resources of resilience and optimism were low. Resilienceis defined mainly as a resource aimed at dealing with a current threat, while optimism is defined as a resource related to future outcomes.

“The findings may have important implications for addressing heightened anxiety in the event of elevated terrorist threats in terms of showing that exposure to ISIS media is detrimental to one’s mental health and increases ISIS anxiety beyond one’s level of general anxiety,” said Dr. Yaakov Hoffman, author of the Stress and Health. article. “Furthermore, the results may suggest that increasing one’s optimism and resilience may mitigate the ISIS threat sensitivity, especially in individuals with PTSD symptoms.”

Image shows a monuement to the Charlie Hebdo attack.
Resilienceis defined mainly as a resource aimed at dealing with a current threat, while optimism is defined as a resource related to future outcomes. NeuroscienceNews.com image is in the public domain.
About this neuroscience research article

Source: Penny Smith – Wiley
Image Source: NeuroscienceNews.com image is in the public domain.
Original Research: Abstract for “Who is afraid of ISIS? ISIS anxiety and its correlates” by Yaakov Hoffman in Stress and Health. Published online June 6 2017 doi:10.1002/smi.2764

Cite This NeuroscienceNews.com Article

[cbtabs][cbtab title=”MLA”]Wiley “Study Links Certain Characteristics With ISIS Anxiety.” NeuroscienceNews. NeuroscienceNews, 10 June 2017.
<https://neurosciencenews.com/terror-anxiety-characteristics-6883/>.[/cbtab][cbtab title=”APA”]Wiley (2017, June 10). Study Links Certain Characteristics With ISIS Anxiety. NeuroscienceNew. Retrieved June 10, 2017 from https://neurosciencenews.com/terror-anxiety-characteristics-6883/[/cbtab][cbtab title=”Chicago”]Wiley “Study Links Certain Characteristics With ISIS Anxiety.” https://neurosciencenews.com/terror-anxiety-characteristics-6883/ (accessed June 10, 2017).[/cbtab][/cbtabs]


Abstract

Who is afraid of ISIS? ISIS anxiety and its correlates

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) is a relatively small organization, yet it wields its terror and media campaigns efficiently. Its presence has altered security measures in many western counties. In the current study, I assess anxiety of the ISIS threat and its correlates in a convenience sample of 1,007 adult Israelis (mean age = 29.61, SD = 7.16). Findings show that being female, a lower socioeconomic status, and having elevated post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom levels were all associated with ISIS anxiety. Likewise, exposure to ISIS media, as well as having low resilience, was also correlated with ISIS anxiety. The correlations between ISIS anxiety on the one hand and ISIS media exposure, PTSD symptoms, and resilience on the other hand remained significant even after controlling for general anxiety symptoms. Finally, the PTSD- ISIS anxiety relationship was especially pronounced when resources (resilience/optimism) were low. This critical interaction also remained significant after controlling for general anxiety. Theoretical and practical ramifications of ISIS anxiety are discussed. Both resources for addressing current tasks (resilience), as well as those aimed at future outcomes (optimism), may be required for addressing ISIS anxiety, especially when PTSD symptoms are high.

“Who is afraid of ISIS? ISIS anxiety and its correlates” by Yaakov Hoffman in Stress and Health. Published online June 6 2017 doi:10.1002/smi.2764

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