Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

The Effects of Exposure to Violence on Aggressive Behavior: The Case of Arab and Jewish Children in Israel

39 Pages Posted: 27 Dec 2015 Last revised: 12 Jun 2016

Simha F. Landau

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law

Shira Dvir-Gvirsman

Netanya Academic College

Rowell Huesmann

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Institute for Social Research (ISR)

Eric F. Dubow

Bowling Green State University

Paul Boxer

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - Rutgers University, Newark

Jeremy Ginges

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Institute for Social Research (ISR)

Khalil Shikaki

Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research

Date Written: December 26, 2015

Abstract

The impact of exposure to violence in the context of families, neighborhoods, and peer groups on pre-adolescents and adolescents has been widely studied. However, very little is known on the effect of exposure to political conflict and violence on children and youth. The literature is specially lacking studies assessing these last effects while controlling for exposure to violence in other contexts. This study evaluates the cumulative impact on Israeli children’s aggression of exposure to violence in four social ecological settings: family, school, neighborhood and political conflicts. The effects of exposure to violence in these settings were analyzed separately for the two major ethnic communities in Israel: Jewish and Arab. We examine data collected using face-to-face interviews with children and parents, from the two samples, each of 450 dyads with three age cohorts of children – 8 year olds, 11 year olds, and 14 year olds in 2007. We test the effect of exposure to each type of violence on aggressive behavior while controlling for a variety of personal and demographic covariates. Though both Israeli Arab and Jewish children report considerable exposure to various types of political violence, Jewish children were significantly more exposed to political violence (all types). On the other hand, Arab children were exposed to more community and family conflict and violence. In both ethnic groups, exposure to political violence and to violence in the other ecological contexts had a greater effect on children's aggression than did their demographic characteristics. Gender was the only significant demographic variable in both groups, and parents' income affected (negatively) only Jewish children's aggression. The study highlights the detrimental impact of exposure to political conflict and violence on both Arab and Jewish Israeli children's aggression.

Keywords: violence, political, children, Israel, family, school, Jewish, Arab, gender

Suggested Citation

Landau, Simha F. and Dvir-Gvirsman, Shira and Huesmann, Rowell and Dubow, Eric F. and Boxer, Paul and Ginges, Jeremy and Shikaki, Khalil, The Effects of Exposure to Violence on Aggressive Behavior: The Case of Arab and Jewish Children in Israel (December 26, 2015). Hebrew University of Jerusalem Legal Research Paper 16-19. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2708492

Simha F. Landau (Contact Author)

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law ( email )

Mount Scopus, 91905
Israel

Shira Dvir-Gvirsman

Netanya Academic College ( email )

1 University St
Netanya 42100, 4223587
Israel

Rowell Huesmann

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Institute for Social Research (ISR) ( email )

Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1248
United States

Eric F. Dubow

Bowling Green State University ( email )

Department of Psychology
Bowling Green, OH 43403
United States

Paul Boxer

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - Rutgers University, Newark ( email )

180 University Avenue
Newark, NJ 07102
United States

Jeremy Ginges

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Institute for Social Research (ISR) ( email )

Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1248
United States

Khalil Shikaki

Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research ( email )

United States

Paper statistics

Downloads
133
Rank
181,700
Abstract Views
733