Attachment Insecurity, Posttraumatic Stress, and Hostility in Adolescents Exposed to Armed Conflict

Tania Josiane Bosqui*, Bassam Marshoud, Ciaran Shannon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Adolescents living in regions affected by armed conflict are at high risk of psychiatric morbidity, but also of aggression, including the motivational construct of hostility (Dyer et al., 2009). Despite evidence from nonconflict settings of the importance of attachment theory in the etiology of hostility (Luecken, 2000), research on attachment insecurity in conflict-affected societies is limited (Okello, Broekaert, & Derluyn, 2014). This study aimed to identify the relationship between attachment insecurity and hostility in a region affected by armed conflict. A sample of 99 participants (age M = 15.81, SD = 1.68) in the occupied Palestinian territories provided data on attachment insecurity, hostility, and trauma experiences using validated self-report measures. Results from a hierarchical multiple regression analysis showed that although caregiver availability (β = -.25, 95% CI [1.77, .23], p = .01), a subscale of attachment insecurity, and posttraumatic stress (β = .42, 95% CI [.35, .80], p = .03) were associated with hostility, only posttraumatic stress maintained its association after adjusting for sociodemographic factors (β = .41, 95% CI [.01, .83], p = .04). The importance of posttraumatic stress and hostility is discussed in terms of implications for improving psychosocial interventions for adolescents living in conflict-affected regions, and the limitations of attachment constructs in the Palestinian context are discussed. In conclusion, further research is recommended on hostility, parental availability, and parenting capacity. (PsycINFO Database Record

Original languageEnglish
JournalPeace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology
Early online date22 May 2017
Publication statusEarly online date - 22 May 2017


  • Armed conflict
  • Attachment
  • Hostility
  • Posttraumatic stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations


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