The characteristics of help seeking among Palestinian adolescents following exposure to community violence

Becky Leshem, Muhammad M. Haj-Yahia, Neil B. Guterman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: This study examines patterns of and barriers for help seeking after exposure to community violence (ECV) among Palestinian adolescents from theWest Bank and East Jerusalem. Method: Self-administrated questionnaireswere filled-out by a sample of 1930 Palestinian Junior andHigh school students. Participants reported on their ECV, choice of help agent, barriers for help seeking, perceived help experience, and sociodemographic factors. Results: Informal help agents were the first choice of 48% of both male and female adolescents, 30% of the boys and 20% of the girls sought formal help, and 1.9% of the participants sought only formal help. Positive help experience was best attributed to listening and giving advice, while confronting the help seeker led to the most adverse experience. Seeking help from multiple sources produced better help experience. The common reason for not seeking help by girls was feeling that talking wouldn't help. Boys did not seek help out of fear of disclosure and feeling that the problem would go away on its own. Conclusions: Palestinian adolescents' help seeking patterns tend to confirm with those found in other populations. Study limitations and practical implications are discussed, and future studies are suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
StatePublished - 2015


  • Barriers for help seeking
  • Community violence
  • Help seeking
  • Palestinian adolescents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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