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Role of adolescent exposure to rockets in the links between personality vulnerability and psychopathology

  • Golan Shahar (a1) and Christopher C. Henrich (a2)


The aim of this study is to examine the role of repeated exposure to rocket attacks in the links between personality vulnerability (dependency and self-criticism) and internalizing/externalizing psychopathology. A main-effect vulnerability model (personality leads to psychopathology) was compared with a main-effect scarring model (psychopathology leads to personality vulnerability). Also, a stress-diathesis pattern (personality vulnerability is activated under stress) was compared to a dual-vulnerability pattern (either personality vulnerability or stress, but not both, lead to psychopathology). Israeli adolescents (N = 362) repeatedly exposed to rocket attacks were assessed annually over 3 years. In 2008 and 2010, personality and psychopathology were assessed. Cumulative exposure was measured as the sums of exposure across the three assessment waves. Theoretical models were tested via Autoregressive Cross-Lagged Structural Equation Modeling analyses. Baseline dependency and self-criticism were associated with an increase in anxiety, whereas baseline depression was associated with an increase in dependency. Under low, not high, levels of rocket exposure, self-criticism and depression were longitudinally associated. Violence commission was associated with an increase in dependency under high, not low, cumulative exposure. Results are consistent with both scarring and vulnerability models, and with both stress-diathesis and dual-vulnerability patterns of adolescent risk and resilience.


Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Golan Shahar, Department of Psychology, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Be'er Sheva 84105, Israel; E-mail: or


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Role of adolescent exposure to rockets in the links between personality vulnerability and psychopathology

  • Golan Shahar (a1) and Christopher C. Henrich (a2)


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