Jul. 15 – A joint Israel-US study shows that social support from friends protects adolescents from the adverse psychological effects of suicide bombings. The findings serve as a basis for the development of innovative preventive interventions for adolescents exposed to terror attacks. The study, conducted by Prof. Golan Shahar from the Department of Psychology at Israel’s Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Prof. Christopher Henrich from Georgia State University, was funded by the Israel-US Binational Science Foundation (BSF). The findings were published in Pediatrics ? the leading publication of pediatric medicine. The investigators followed adolescents from Dimona in Israel, prior and subsequent to a suicide bombing that took place in the town on February 4, 2008. The study investigated 90 adolescents (in grades seven to nine). The researchers found that adolescents reporting pre-bombing low levels of social support from friends reacted with elevated depression to the suicide bombing. In contrast, adolescents reporting pre-bombing high levels of social support from friends responded to the bombing with low levels of depression.