War-related stress: Addressing the stress of war and other traumatic events

Stevan E. Hobfoll, Charles D. Spielberger, Shlomo Breznitz, Charles Figley, Susan Folkman, Bonnie Lepper-Green, Donald Meichenbaum, Norman A. Milgram, Irwin Sandler, Irwin Sarason, Bessel van der Kolk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

142 Scopus citations


A task force on war-related stress was convened to develop strategies for prevention and treatment of psychological, psychosocial, and psychosomatic disorders associated with the Persian Gulf War and other extreme stressors facing communities in general. The task force focused on the return home, reunion, and reintegration of service personnel with their families and work. Although the Persian Gulf War was won with relative ease, negative psychological sequelae may develop in some individuals because of the stress of war, family disruption, financial difficulty, and changes in family routines. Typical stress reactions and modes of coping that are usually unsuccessful or destructive were outlined, and suggestions were made for monitoring these. In addition, guidelines for successful coping were developed. Special attention was given to children's reactions and needs. Recommendations were made for outreach and intervention on the policy, systems (e.g., schools, businesses, governmental agencies), family, and individual levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)848-855
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Psychologist
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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