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Conservative shift among high-exposure survivors of the september 11th terrorist attacks
BONANNO George A. ; JOST John T. ; ARKIN Robert M. (Editeur scientifique) ; ...
Potentially traumatic events evoke a wide range of responses and outcomes. From a motivated social cognitive approach to ideology, system-threatening events such as 9/11 should increase psychological needs to manage uncertainty and threat and, therefore, the appeal of politically conservative opinions. We investigated "conservative shift" among high-exposure survivors of the 9/11 terrorist attacks (n = 45) and its relationship to coping and adjustment. Results indicated that Democrats and Independents (as well as Republicans) were more likely to shift toward conservatism and away from liberalism following 9/11. Despite its prevalence, we found relatively little evidence that embracing conservatism was related to improved well-being as measured either in terms of survivors' mental health symptoms or friends-relatives' ratings of their psychological adjustment. On the contrary, political conservatism, right-wing authoritarianism, and conservative shift were generally associated with the following: chronically elevated levels of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression, desire for revenge and militarism, cynicism, and decreased use of humor. Conservative shift was also associated with increased religiosity, patriotism, and the perception that the events of 9/11 created new interests and opportunities, suggesting that it may contain some adaptive (as well as maladaptive) features.
Taylor & Francis
ISSN : 0197-3533 CODEN : BASPEG
Basic and applied social psychology A. 2006, vol. 28, n° 4, pp. 311-323 [13 pages] [bibl. : 3/4 p.]
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