We examine whether cumulative-past and concurrent exposure to ethnic-political violence among Israeli and Palestinian youth predict serious violent behavior and antisocial outcomes toward the in-group and the out-group. We collected four waves of data from 162 Israeli Jewish and 400 Palestinian youths (three age cohorts: 8, 11, and 14 years old) and their parents. The first three waves were consecutive annual assessments, and the fourth was conducted 4 years after the third wave, when the three age cohorts were 14, 17, and 20 years old, respectively. Based on social-cognitive-ecological models of the development of aggression (Dubow et al., 2009, Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 12, 113-126; Huesmann, 1998) and models of the development of beliefs about the “other,” (Bar-Tal, 2004, European Journal of Social Psychology, 34, 677-701; Tajfel & Turner, 1986), we predicted that serious violent outcomes directed toward both the in-group and the out-group would be related to both concurrent and to persistent-past exposure to ethnic political violence. Bivariate regression models (prior to including covariates) indicated that both early cumulative exposure to ethnic-political violence during childhood and adolescence and concurrent exposure during late adolescence/early adulthood predicted all six serious violent and antisocial outcomes. When we added to the models the covariates of ethnic subgroup, age, sex, parents’ education, and youths’ prior physical aggression, concurrent exposure to ethnic-political violence was still significantly associated with a greater likelihood of concurrently perpetrating all six serious violent and nonviolent forms of antisocial behavior, and earlier cumulative exposure remained significantly related to three of these: severe physical aggression, participating in violent demonstrations, and our overall index of violent/antisocial behavior.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- ethnic-political violence
- violent behavior