Students' Publications


Ortal Edri

Edri, O., & Bensimon, M. (2018). The role of music among prisoners and prison staff: A qualitative research study. European Journal of Criminology.


Music is an integral part of every subculture, including that of prisons. However, no research has yet examined the meaning of music for prisoners and prison staff. The present research examined the role of music in the world of prisoners in Israel and how prison staff experience it. Content analysis of interviews with 10 convicted prisoners and 9 prison staff members indicated four central themes: the different ways prisoners consume and are exposed to music; the role of music in provoking positive and negative feelings; the role of music in the relationships among inmates – closeness and conflicts; and the role of music in the relationships between prisoners and prison staff, particularly in terms of prison regulation of music consumption.


Ola  Boikova

Glicksohn, J., & Boikova, O. (2018). Mood and creativity over time in a bipolar participant. The Journal of Creative Behavior, 52(1), 66-79.


When depression alternates with mania, as in a bipolar affective disorder, creativity might be enhanced. To investigate this, we employed a single‐subject design, looking at both affective space and the spectral covariation of mood and creativity in a participant presenting with bipolar affective disorder. The study was conducted over a period of 54 days, and employed a standard measure of mood (the Brief Mood Introspection Scale) and a standard task of creativity (Alternative Uses Task). Both positive affect and negative affect appear to be somewhat undifferentiated for this participant, and her mood space does not conform to that described by the accepted major dimensions of Arousal and Pleasure. Conceivably, this is because of her rapid mood fluctuations. A 2.7‐day periodicity was found for Tired, Peppy, Nervous, and Calm, on the one hand, and ideational fluency, ideational flexibility, and originality, on the other. In addition, a 9‐day periodicity was common to Happy, Sad, and Gloomy—all three affects clustering in the same affective space—together with both ideational flexibility and originality. This finding brings into question the relationship between creativity and both positive and negative mood.


Yitzchak Ben Yair

Ben Yair, Y., & Ronel, N. (2014). Immigrants in their own country: Ultra-Orthodox Jewish adolescents in risk and questioning situations. Society & Welfare, 34(1), 51-71 (Hebrew)

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Ronel, N., & Ben Yair, I. (2018). Spiritual criminology: The case of Jewish Criminology. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 62(7), 2081–2102


Throughout the ages and in most cultures, spiritual and religious thinking have dealt extensively with offending (person against person and person against the Divine), the response to offending, and rehabilitation of offenders. Although modern criminology has generally overlooked that body of knowledge and experience, the study of spirituality and its relation to criminology is currently growing. Frequently, though, it is conducted from the secular scientific perspective, thus reducing spiritual knowledge into what is already known. Our aim here is to present a complementary perspective; that is, spiritual criminology that emerges from the spiritual perspective. Following a description of the state-of-the-art in criminological research concerning spirituality and its impact upon individuals, we focus on Jewish criminology as an illustrative case study, and present a spiritual Jewish view on good and evil, including factors that lead to criminality, the issue of free choice, the aim of punishment and societal response, crime desistance, rehabilitation, and prevention. The proposed establishment of spiritual criminology can be further developed by including parallel schools of spirituality, to create an integrated field in criminology.


Elad Chamiel

Chamiel, E. & Walsh, S.D. (2018) “House arrest” or “developmental arrest”? a study of youth under house arrest. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 62 (4), 4381-4402


Studies have examined the potential benefits and risks of alternative forms of detention, such as house arrest, for adults but, despite its growing use, little research has examined the implications of house arrest for juveniles. The current research examined the experience of 14 adolescents under house arrest. Six main themes were identified in the narratives of the participants: the experience of detention, daily schedule and utilization of time, emotions and self-reflection, relationships with peers, relation to parents and supervisor(s), and contact with professionals. Findings emphasized the potential developmental dangers of house arrest at the critical stage of adolescence. Yet, analysis also showed that the period of house arrest has the potential to be a period of positive changes, and can be used for successful rehabilitation.


Hila Yaniv

Glicksohn, J., & Yaniv, H. (2016). Visual hybrids induce anxiety: A microgenetic approach. Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice, 3(3), 239-257.


In this study, we investigate how our participants grapple with the inherent uncertainty of a visual hybrid, when presented as a sequential presentation of degraded and brief images. We argue that this uncertainty should lead to readily observable anxiety. A total of 44 students participated in this microgenetic study, employing 4 visual hybrids, each presented as a series of 14 blurred images. Of these hybrids, wolf-man and man-ostrich, comprise half-human/half-animal images that were rated as eliciting anxiety in a pretest. Our use of a microgenetic technique highlighted the fact that the participant’s response to a visual hybrid is predominantly to first report the half-man component, and only after a rather long period of time to report the other component. We analyze elicited anxiety in both the verbal protocol and in its expression in the behavior of the participant during the experiment, as well as via a standard questionnaire. Visual hybrids elicit an emotional response, seen in both verbal report and the participant’s behavior during the session.


Jeffrey Lozon

Lozon, J., & Bensimon, M. (2014). Music misuse: A review of the personal and collective roles of "Problem Music". Aggression and Violent Behavior, 19, 207-218.


Literature on musical preferences and their influence on behavior and ideation has primarily focused on specific musical preferences and linked certain music genres with psychological vulnerability and social deviance. The aim of this review was to: (a) gather information about musical preferences and their influence on behavior and thoughts in order to determine both positive and negative influences of each music genre on listeners; (b) present the main literature about genres that have negative influence on listeners; and (c) provide theoretical explanations for the psychological and sociological functions of those genres. A systematic review of the literature identified the following genres as having negative influence on listeners: alternative rock, hard rock, heavy metal, hip-hop/rap, punk rock, rock and trance/house/electronic/techno. Research showed that those genres were associated with substance and alcohol abuse, opposing authority and rebelliousness, impulsive and antisocial traits, violent behavior, and delinquency. Of the few studies that investigated positive aspects of the above genres, some focused on the role of those genres in regulating negative feelings and constructing personal and social identity, while other studies stressed the importance of those genres in constructing group and cultural identity and educating listeners.


Lozon, J., & Bensimon, M. (2017). A systematic review on the functions of rap among gangs. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 61(11), 1243-1261


Although the field of gangs is well studied, information regarding the way gangs may use or misuse music for different needs is sparse. The aim of this systematic review is to gather descriptive and empirical information to ascertain the important roles rap music possesses within gang life. This review suggests five main functions of rap used within gangs with an emphasis on the subgenre of gangsta rap. First, rap facilitates antisocial behavior by reinforcing such messages in its lyrics. Second, its deviant lyrics serve as a reflection of the violent reality experienced in many urban ghetto communities. Third, it operates as a means for constructing individual and collective identity, as well as resistance identity. Fourth, it functions as an educating force by teaching its members how to act and respond in the urban ghetto. Finally, rap glorifies gang norms among newcomers and successfully spreads its values to the general population.


Ravit Menashe

Shrira, A., Menashe, R., & Bensimon, M. (2018). Filial anxiety and sense of obligation among offspring of Holocaust survivors.


Objectives: Much is known about adult children caring for their aging parents, yet the potentially unique experience of offspring caring for traumatized parents is underexplored. Therefore, the current studies assessed filial anxiety and sense of obligation among offspring of Holocaust survivors (OHS) in caring for their parents.

Method: In Study 1, we interviewed 10 OHS (mean age = 61.0) in order to extract themes of filial anxiety. Based on Study 1's data, a newly constructed scale of filial anxiety was administered in Study 2 to 59 adult offspring (mean age = 56.4): 28 OHS and 31 comparisons. Study 3 included 143 dyads of parents and offspring (mean age = 55.4 and 81.7, respectively): 86 Holocaust dyads and 57 comparison dyads. Parents reported posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and offspring reported filial anxiety and sense of obligation.

Results: In Study 1, interviewees referred to concerns about parent experiencing decline alongside caregiving difficulties. In Study 2, OHS reported higher filial anxiety and sense of obligation relative to comparisons. This group difference was mediated by sense of obligation. In Study 3, OHS with parental PTSD reported higher filial anxiety and sense of obligation relative to comparisons. Once more, filial sense of obligation served as a mediator. In Studies 2–3, results remained significant after adjusting for offspring symptoms.

Conclusion: Parental exposure to the Holocaust, and especially parental PTSD, related to higher filial obligation, which in turn was related to higher filial anxiety. These findings bear important implications for practitioners working with survivors' families


Maya Sagis

Walsh, S.D., Sagis, M., & Gross, A. (2017) Emotional alienation as a mediator of the relationship between perceived discrimination and alcohol use among immigrant adolescents in Israel, Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse


Perceived discrimination has been found to be a predictor of immigrant adolescent involvement in alcohol use, yet the psychological mechanism behind this relationship has not been well explored. Drawing on strain theory and the motivational model of alcohol use, the current study aimed to develop and test a concept of emotional alienation. In the proposed model, it is when experiences of discrimination are internalized into painful feelings of detachment, anger, rejection, and failure that the immigrant adolescent may turn to alcohol use. The study involved 365 at-risk immigrant adolescents, aged 15–19 (62% male, mean age 17.1) from the Former Soviet Union and Ethiopia in Israel, from low SES neighborhoods and community centers for youth at risk. The young people self-reported on experiences of discrimination, daily alcohol use, heavy episodic drinking (HED), and drunkenness, together with a new questionnaire examining emotional alienation developed for the study. Findings showed that experiences of alienation fully mediated the relationship between discrimination and problematic alcohol use (drunkenness and HED). In particular, feelings of self-detachment, failure, and rejection were strongly related to alcohol use. Results suggest an importance of understanding the way in which negative reactions from the host society may be internalized into destructive feelings of failure, shame, and rejection, which may lead a young person to involvement in alcohol use.


Olga Simanovskaya

Walsh, S.D., Kolobov, T., & Simanovskaya, O. (2018). What is it about perceived discrimination that can lead immigrant adolescents to alcohol use and delinquency? The Mediating Role of Feelings of Alienation. Substance Use and Misuse


Background: Despite research examining the relationship between discrimination and alcohol use and delinquency among adolescents, little is understood about the mechanism behind the relationship. Objectives: On the basis of Strain Theory, the current study examined a new theoretical model in which feelings of alienation (from the self, peers, and Israeli society) mediate the relationship between discrimination and alcohol use and delinquency. Methods: A one-year follow-up study was conducted with 146 at-risk youth from the Former Soviet Union and Ethiopia in Israel (63% male), from disadvantaged low socioeconomic neighborhoods. At Time 1 (T1), adolescents were asked about their experiences of discrimination, feelings of alienation, and levels of problem alcohol use (past month/ever drunkenness, past month binge drinking, and regular daily drinking). At time 2 (T2), the participants were again asked as to their experiences of alienation, alcohol use, and delinquency. Results: Perceived discrimination at T1 significantly predicted feelings of alienation at T2, when controlling for the relationship with alienation at T1. Feelings of alienation (from the self and Israeli society) fully mediated the relationship between discrimination and alcohol use. However, there was a direct relationship between discrimination and delinquency. Conclusions:Findings emphasize the negative impact of discrimination on adolescents. They suggest that during the critical developmental period of adolescence, feelings of discrimination may be internalized into negative emotions which may lead to involvement in deviant behaviors. Results suggest a need to help adolescents process and make sense of the discriminatory experiences they perceive.


Adi Inbar

Ronel, N., & Inbar, A. (2013). Recovery in a therapeutic community – A single case study. Glimpse into Prison, 15, 45-61 (Hebrew)

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מאמר זה מציג ניתוח רטרוספקטיבי מעמיק של הידרדרות לעבריינות ולהתמכרות ושל חוויית ההחלמה בקהילה הטיפולית "מלכישוע". ההידרדרות וההחלמה הן התרחשויות בחייו של מתבגר שהתפתח אצלו סחרור עברייני כרוני לצד שימוש התמכרותי בסמים. הוא היה אסיר בכלא נוער, הגיע לאחר מכן לקהילה טיפולית בצו שופט כחלופה למאסר, עבר בה שינוי מהותי, יצא לחיים חדשים ובחן לאחר כעשר שנים את התהליך שעבר שם. המחקר הוא מסוג חקר מקרה יחיד עם השקפה פנומנולוגית-פרשנית. שיטת המחקר מאפשרת להבין לעומק הן את החוויה האישית של צעיר שעסק בפלילים והשתמש בסמים בהיותו נער מתבגר והן את תהליך ההחלמה כפי שחווה אותו כמטופל צעיר בקהילה טיפולית וגם לאחר שנים, כאדם מבוגר. חדשנותו של מחקר זה היא בבחינת ההחלמה מנקודת מבט רטרוספקטיבית ארוכת שנים, שמאפשרת להבין את ההשפעות ארוכות הטווח של טיפול בקהילה טיפולית. ממצאי המחקר מלמדים על הקהילה כשיטת התערבות המצליחה ליצור שינוי אצל המטופלים תוך יישום של עקרונות הקרימינולוגיה החיובית.


Merav Pazuelo

Nahari, G., & Pazuelo, M. (2015). Telling a convincing story: Richness in detail as a function of gender and information. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, 4, 363-367


We examined whether and how levels of richness in detail, a fundamental cue for truthfulness in the Reality Monitoring (RM) tool, change as a function of the interviewee's gender and his/her awareness of this indicator. We collected 160 true and false accounts, written by males and females. Half the participants were informed about the RM criteria, and were encouraged to include them in their accounts. Results demonstrated gender differences in levels of richness for uninformed participants. Specifically, uninformed-females provided better truthful accounts than uninformed-males, and differences in richness between truths and lies emerged only for uninformed-females. Gender differences in levels of richness were eliminated when participants were informed, and discrimination between lies and truths was no longer possible. These findings suggest that the interviewee's gender must be considered when using richness as an indicator for truthfulness, and that the indicator of richness is vulnerable to countermeasures.


Nir Rozmann

Rozmann, N. & Walsh, S.D. (2018). Perceived threat, blaming attribution, victim ethnicity and punishment. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 66, 34-40


In cases of inter-group crime, research has shown that attitudes of majority population members toward a supposed defendant are influenced by his or her ethnicity, and, moreover, that levels of perceived (group) threat toward out-group defendants can impact on levels of punishment severity which members of the majority population believe they should receive. However, little research has focused on the ethnicity of the victim and/or on blaming attribution. Based on the theory of Defensive Attribution and Integrative Threat Theory, the purpose of the current study was to extend current understandings to examine a conceptual model in which 1) victim ethnicity moderates and 2) blaming attribution mediates the relationship between ethnic threat perceptions and the support for harsh punitive sanctions toward an out-group perpetrator involved in an intra/inter-racial offence. The study included 230 Israeli-Jewish students, who read a scenario describing an Arab perpetrator of crime and either a Jewish or Arab victim, and answered questions regarding perceived Arab threat, perpetrator blaming and attitudes to punishment. In line with hypotheses, findings showed that blaming attribution toward the perpetrator partially mediated the relationship between threat perceptions and support for harsh punitive sanctions. Furthermore, results showed that ethnic similarity between the observer and victim moderated the relationship between threat perceptions and punitiveness. Results suggest the importance of highlighting understandings of majority-minority relations in the field of criminology.


The Extent and Gender Directionality of Intimate Partner Violence in Different Relationship Types: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Rozmann, Nir, PhD Candidate, Ariel, Barak, PhD. Partner Abuse, Vol 9 Issue 4

DOI: 10.1891/1946-6560.9.4.335


The domestic violence research indicates two different approaches to victims. On one hand, it is argued that violence is a masculine or patriarchal mechanism of control and superiority based on research that shows higher rates of male violence toward women than vice versa. On the other hand, there is ample research that supports the claim of those patterns of violence and rates of victimization are equal between the genders. These contradictory findings call for a systematic review and a meta-analysis of the empirical data in order to establish the extent and directionality of victimization and abuse in violent relationships. To provide a more nuanced overview of this phenomenon, the present review examines the frequency of physical violence in different types of heterosexual relationships—dating, cohabitation, and marriage—according to national surveys and victim self-reports. The analysis is limited to sources in Hebrew and English. The searching procedure and criteria applied in selecting the studies generated 55 published studies from 36 countries. The main conclusion of the review is that the extent and directionality of violence vary with the type of relationship: while dating was reported to have higher rates of male victimization, in cohabitation and marital relationships, females reported higher levels of victimization rather. This article addresses the theoretical and practical implications of these findings.


Sharona Shaul

Bensimon, M., Shaul, S., Div. S., Sandler, L., & Teitelbaum, A. (2018). Patient–centered approach in closed psychiatric wards: The curative power of relaxing music chosen by patients. Israel Journal of Psychiatry, 55(2), 55-58

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Psychiatry is changing as medicine adopts a patient-centered approach. This model of care places greater emphasis on the patients' involvement in determining the goals of their treatment and the nature of their care. This study offers a non-verbal patient-centered intervention by using relaxing music chosen by patients in a closed psychiatric ward to achieve reduction in levels of stress and psychomotor agitation.


Participants, patients in closed wards, entered a seclusion room whenever they showed psychomotor agitation, overwhelming stress or physical and verbal aggression. While in the seclusion room, participants in the research group (n=24) were exposed to relaxing music of their choice whereas the comparative group (n=28) did not receive any sensory stimulation. The participants filled out the Visual Analogue Scale to measure their emotional state before and after this experience while the staff filled out the Behavioral Activity Rating Scale.


Results show significantly higher emotional calm and prominent reduction in psychomotor agitation among the research group in comparison with the comparative group.


Relaxing music chosen by patients has a positive effect on their emotional state and behavioral activity and may therefore serve as an alternative sensory intervention before patients reach violent situations that require restraint.


Monica Shifter Weber

Walsh, S.D., Tartakovsky, E. &Shifter Weber, M. (2018). Personal values and immigrant appraisal as predictors of voluntary contact with immigrants among majority students in Israel. International Journal of Psychology.


What predicts whether young people will establish contacts with immigrants? Students are at a pivotal point in which the campus environment can enable substantial contact with immigrants, and where world views and behavioural patterns are formed which can follow through their adult lives. Through a value‐attitude‐behavior paradigm we examine a conceptual model in which appraisal of an immigrant group as a threat and/or benefit to the host society mediates the relationship between personal values and contact. Findings among 252 students in Israel showed that (1) threat/benefit appraisal of immigrants predicted voluntary contact; (2) personal values of self‐direction and hedonism directly predicted voluntary contact; and (3) Threat/benefit appraisal mediated the relationship between self‐direction and power and contact. Results suggest that increasing awareness of benefits of immigrants can promote positive inter‐group relations.