Youth resilience makes a difference in mitigating stress: teacher mediated school intervention in Bethlehem

Abstract: This study examined the implementation of the Enhancing Resiliency Amongst Students Experiencing Stress intervention, which is a teacher mediated, evidence based school intervention, targeting youth who have been exposed to ongoing conflict. Our hypothesis was that posttraumatic symptom levels can be reduced when youth have higher levels of ego resilience and that this can be achieved through a teacher mediated, school intervention. We found that ego resilience is negatively related to posttraumatic symptom levels, while anxiety levels and impairment in functioning are positively related. However, in contradiction to our hypotheses, we also found that the school intervention was not sufficient to contribute significantly between the pre and post measures and resulted in higher levels of posttraumatic symptom levels, anxiety levels and impairment in functioning. These findings are explained within the context of the harsh environment in which the students and their families live. Additionally, our findings indicate that implementing a school intervention within the context of continuous exposure to traumatic events may require a more holistic approach.

Shaheen, Mohammed M.A.; Oppenheim, Shani