Psychological Medicine

Research Article

Exposure to recurrent combat stress: combat stress reactions among Israeli soldiers in the Lebanon War

Zahava Solomona1 c1, Mario Mikulincera1 and Beni R. Jakoba1

a1 Department of Mental Health Israel Defense Forces Medical Corps, Israel


This study examined the impact of repeated exposure to combat on combat stress reaction (CSR). Sodliers diagnosed with CSR during the Lebanon War (N = 382) were compared with a matched control group of soldiers who fought in the same units but did not manifest symptoms of CSR (N = 334). CSR in the Lebanon War was found to be related to the psychological outcome the soldier experienced in previous wars. The CSR rate in the Lebanon War was higher in soldiers who had experienced an episode of CSR in a previous war than in soldiers with no past combat experience. However, CSR rates were lower among soldiers who had not had an episode of CSR in a previous war than among soldiers with no prior combat experience. High intensity of combat in Lebanon was found to increase both the detrimental and favourable effects of prior combat experience.


c1 Address for correspondence: Dr Zahava Solomon, Department of Mental Health, Medical Corps, Israel Defense Forces, Military P.O. Box 02149, Israel