40. Qouta, S., Punamäki, R. L., and El Sarraj, E. The Impact of the Peace Treaty on Psychological Well-Being: A Follow-Up Study of Palestinian Children. Child Abuse & Neglect 1995; 19, 10: 1197-1208.

In this study, an attempt is made to understand the historical role the peace treaty plays on children's mental health and the children's appraisal of it. The authors also investigate the influence of psycho-social resources and earlier traumatic experiences on their psychological well-being. The pre-peace treaty sample consisted of 108 Palestinian children aged 11-12 from Gaza. From these participants 64 students were re-tested after the peace treaty. The 64 students were each interviewed about his or her flag-rising activities and then completed questionnaires measuring neuroticism and self-esteem. Results show that children suffered less from neuroticism after the peace treaty. Exposure to traumatic experiences decreased self-esteem and increased neuroticism even after the peace treaty, but only among children who refused to participate in the flag-raising festivities. No relationship was found between earlier traumatic experiences and psychological well-being among those who participated. In regards, to the determinants of self-esteem and neuroticism, regression analysis showed that the level of traumatic experiences was still a powerful determinant of children's neuroticism and self-esteem after the peace treaty.