The Effect of Political Violence in the First Intifada on Palestinian Children’s Mental Health: Scholarly Analysis

In 2000, Muhammad M. Haj-Yahia of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem interviewed nearly 1,200 Palestinian adolescents in Jerusalem and the West Bank about their childhood experiences of the First Intifada and current mental health. Haj-Yahia concluded that exposure to curfew, school closure, and the attack or arrest of a relative affected children’s internalizing and externalizing symptoms of mental health consequences. Curfews, arrests, and obstacles to school attendance are not uncommon in the contemporary West Bank, although they are much less prevalent today that they were during the uprising.  Haj-Yahia also explores the effect of other factors, such as socio-economic standing and parents’ mental health on children’s reactions to political violence.

Haj-Yahia’s analysis is available online to subscribers through the SAGE database and in the print edition of the International Journal of Behavioral Development. Full citation:

Muhammad M. Haj-Yahia, “Political Violence in Retrospect: Its Effect on the Mental Health of Palestinian Adolescents,” International Journal of Behavioral Development 32.4 (July 2008), 283-289.

curfewHouse incursionsschool closuresSoldiersWest Bank