Living under threat: psychosocial effects on victims of terrorism

Javier Martin-Pena, Ana Andres, Pedro J. Ramos-Villagrasa, Jordi Escartin

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The fact of being under terrorist threats, such as death threats or intimidations, has psychosocial effects and impacts on victim's psychosocial functioning. However, little attention has been paid to the study of threatened people through an evidence-based research. This study analyses quantitatively the experience of threatened people within a context of terrorism. Specifically, we want to gain insight into victims' perceptions of their threatening situation, through participants who were under threat by the Euskadi ta Askatasuna (ETA) (Basque Homeland and Freedom) terrorist group in the Basque Country, Spain. Through a crosssectional study and Principal component analysis, 87 victims of the ETA terrorist group in the Basque Country were surveyed, during the period of violence. The findings suggested six main psychosocial effects on threatened individuals, comprising issues such as (1) Thought processes and risk perception; (2) Emotional reactions; (3) Circles of vulnerability; (4) Suspicion/distrust; (5) Social interactions and (6) Safety and freedom of movement. In addition, victim's perception of control was negatively related to the psychosocial effects, in factors 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, respectively. The article discusses and shows implications of the power of threats, along with their effects, as a psychosocial coercion instrument.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-207
Number of pages17
JournalBehavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Eta
  • Terrorism
  • Psychosocial effects
  • Psychosocial functioning
  • Terrorist threats
  • Victims


Dive into the research topics of 'Living under threat: psychosocial effects on victims of terrorism'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this