Journal Article

Growth in the Shadow of War: The Case of Social Workers and Nurses Working in a Shared War Reality

Rachel Lev-Wiesel, Hadass Goldblatt, Zvi Eisikovits and Hanna Admi

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 39, issue 6, pages 1154-1174
Published in print September 2009 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online March 2008 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
Growth in the Shadow of War: The Case of Social Workers and Nurses Working in a Shared War Reality

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This study aimed to assess post-traumatic stress symptoms and vicarious traumatization (VT) versus post-traumatic growth (PTG) among Israeli practitioners who shared war-related reality with their clients during the Second Lebanon–Israel war (2006). In addition, the contribution of potency (one's personal resource) and the role of peri-traumatic dissociation (the emotional detachment activated during or immediately after a traumatic event) were examined. Two months after the war, a convenience sample of 204 practitioners (seventy-six nurses and 128 social workers), all residents and employees in the Haifa area, were administered a self-report questionnaire. Findings showed that nurses had higher post-traumatic growth (PTG) compared with social workers. Personal resource (potency) was found to contribute to the reduction of vicarious traumatization (VT), whereas peri-traumatic dissociation was found to contribute to both PTG and VT in the group of social workers.

Keywords: Post-traumatic growth; vicarious traumatization; peri-traumatic dissociation; shared war reality; post-traumatic stress symptoms; trauma; practitioners; resilience

Journal Article.  6683 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Work

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