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Keywords:

  • terror victims;
  • trauma;
  • tendency to forgive;
  • coping strategies

Objective

The study examined the tendency to forgive (self, others, and situations) and coping strategies (problem-focused, emotion-focused, and avoidance) among terror attack victims as associated with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom severity.

Method

The sample included 108 terror victims who had been injured in terror attacks (mean age 46.23, standard deviation = 11.61; 58.3% male). Participants agreed to undergo assessments of their PTSD symptoms, coping strategies, and tendency to forgive.

Results

A nested structural equation model design showed that tendency to forgive is positively associated with problem-focused coping and negatively associated with avoidance coping. Additionally, tendency to forgive and problem-focused coping are associated with decreased PTSD symptom severity, whereas emotion-focused coping is associated with elevated PTSD symptom severity.

Conclusions

Tendency to forgive and coping strategies are significantly associated with each other and with severity of PTSD symptoms among individuals injured in terror attacks. Theoretical and clinical implications of the findings are discussed.