This research investigated how coping resources explain emotional reactions, in the context of the threat of house demolition, among adolescents in three groups: Adolescents living in a recognized village with no demolition, adolescents living in an unrecognized village (by the Israeli government as legal) with no demolition, and adolescents living in an unrecognized village with demolition. The conceptual framework of this research is based on Antonovsky’s salutogenic theory, which suggests examining the ability to cope with stressful situations.
The present study is a multi-group cross-sectional study that was carried out during 2010-2011 and included 910 participants, of whom 411 adolescents lived in unrecognized villages, where 193 of them experienced home demolition. Participants filled out a questionnaire including demographics, coping resources and emotional reactions.
The findings showed that stress reactions were the highest among the adolescents from unrecognized villages with demolition. Personal sense of coherence was related to fewer emotional reactions among the adolescents from recognized villages. However, among the adolescents from unrecognized villages, especially adolescents living in an unrecognized village with demolition, a stronger sense of coherence was linked to stronger emotional reactions. These findings have important implications for understanding the role of coping among youth from different cultural groups.