Terror Threat Perception and Coping Styles in the Community Struck by Terrorism

Author: Tehreem Arshad

Supervisor: Dr. Aisha Sitwat

Degree: MS

Year:  2008-2010

University: Institute of Applied Psychology, Punjab University, Lahore, Pakistan


The aim of the present study was to explore terror threat perception and coping strategies among survivors of terrorist attacks in Lahore city. A Sample of 100 men recruited from commercial areas and 181 individuals from residential areas (men = 97, women = 87) was selected through Purposive sampling from the immediate adjacent commercial / residential areas (including FIA, Rescue 15 and Moon market) that were hit by terrorist attack. Age range of the sample was between 18- 70 years (mean age =34.5). In order to assess terror threat perception and coping styles, Perception of Terrorism .Questionnaire- Short form (PTQ-SF), Terror Catastrophyzing Scale (TCS) and Ways of Coping Questionnaire- Revised (WCQ-R) were orally and individually administered on the sample. The results revealed that the residential participants perceived more terror threat as compared to commercial participants. Furthermore there were no significant differences among residential and commercial participants with respect to either terror catastrophyzing or in use of coping strategy. Women reported significantly higher levels of perceived threat and terror catastrophysing. In addition it was found that men were using significantly more emotion -focused coping strategies as compared to women. Analyses of variance showed that both problem and emotion focused coping strategies were used significantly more by very high threat group as compared to low and moderate level of threat group. Gender was found to be a  significant predictor of threat perception.

Keywords: Threat, Terror, Coping, Terrorist Attacks.

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Corresponding Address: Department of Applied Psychology, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan. Email: chairperson@appsy.pu.edu.pk, Phone: 92-42-9231245