Risk perception of a chronic threat of terrorism: Differences based on coping types, gender and exposure

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Abstract

High levels of risk perception of terrorism (RPT) may impair an individual's quality of life and welfare. To understand the mechanisms responsible for RPT, this study investigated the association of gender and coping styles with individual differences in two key elements of RPT: perceived control and perceived vulnerability. A convenience sample of 400 Israelis (181 men and 219 women) filled out questionnaires on sociodemographic background, RPT and coping. Employing a multidimensional approach for coping, we divided participants into four coping types: problem-focused (n = 65), emotion-focused (n = 70), mixed (n = 122) and minimal (n = 142). The results indicate that problem-focused coping is associated with higher levels of perceived control than other types of coping and mixed coping is associated with higher levels of perceived vulnerability than other coping strategies. Also, interactions between gender and exposure to terrorism contributed to understanding the differences in perceived control. The discussion addresses gender differences in RPT and coping in the context of traditional gender roles. The study concludes with implications for risk management and therapeutic interventions regarding high levels of fear of terrorism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-122
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Psychology
Volume55
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2020

Keywords

  • Coping
  • Exposure
  • Gender
  • Perceived control
  • Perceived vulnerability
  • Risk perception
  • Terrorism

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