effects of short-term and long‑term
exposure to violence
Stress and coping
who are exposed to violence short-term (e.g. in terrorist attacks, natural
disasters, school shootings, or other traumatic events) or long-term (e.g.
victims of bullying) will typically exhibit a stress response that includes
fear and physiological arousal partly due to secretion of stress hormones
and activation of the amygdala (fear centre).
The fight or
flight response is a pattern of physiological arousal that prepares humans
(and animals) to react to emergency situations. Normally stress responses
are short-lived but with long-term exposure to stressors humans are not able
to return to normal physiological functioning. This could develop into
chronic stress and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
short-term exposure to violence (terrorism)
includes attacks on civilians with the purpose of injuring or killing as many as
possible. Being exposed to violent terrorist attacks may result in depression
and long-term PTSD partly because terrorist attacks could lead to a perception
of continuous threat to one’s safety and well-being.
Studies to use:
Shalev (1995) and/or
Schuster et al. (2001)
long-term exposure to violence (bullying)
The case of bullying
bullying and depression:
Wang et al. (2010) found that victims of cyber bullying had higher
levels of depression than victims of face-to-face bullying. About 14% had
experienced cyber bullying. Boys and girls are equally vulnerable. Cyber
bullying seems to be particularly hurtful because the abuse is spread much
wider through the social media and victims do not know how many people may
have seen it.
Long-term exposure to bullying and depression:
argues that long-term exposure to school victimization (bullying) can
severely affect a child’s daily functioning, including school performance.
It affects the child’s future psychological health and may lead to
depression and PTSD.
Study to use:
Carney and Hazler (2007)