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Moving from an approach oriented to adaptation and functioning, the current paper explored the network of cumulative associations between the effects of the siege and resilience on mental health.
We sought to explore the impact of the siege on psychological distress (anxiety, depression, and stress) and the moderating effect of resilience and hopelessness in a sample of 550 Palestinian university students. We hypothesized that the siege effect would impact psychological distress so that the more people were affected by the siege, the more mental symptoms of common mental disorders they would report. We also expected that the siege would negatively impact both resilience and participants' hopelessness.
Findings showed that higher scores on the scale measuring effect of the siege were associated with hopelessness. Furthermore, living under siege compromised participants’ resilience. The more the siege affected individuals, the lower resilience were protecting participants mental health and the more hopelessness was exposing them to anxiety, stress, and depression.
Our findings draw attention to how the ongoing violation of human rights influences people's mental health in Gaza. Implications for clinicians and policymakers are discussed.
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