Coping with Fear of and Exposure to Terrorism among Expatriates

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2017 Jul 19;14(7):808. doi: 10.3390/ijerph14070808.


This paper examines existing research on the impact of terrorism on expatriate coping strategies. We consider pre-assignment fear of terrorism, in-country coping strategies, and anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) associated with repatriation. The extant research is small but growing. Our model for expatriate coping at the pre-departure, in-country, and repatriation stages includes strategies specific to each stage. Preparation using proactive coping, systematic desensitization, problem and emotion focused coping, social support, and virtual reality explorations are recommended. Selecting expatriate candidates who are well-adjusted, emotionally intelligent, and possessing good coping skills is essential for successful assignments in terror-prone regions.

Keywords: duty of care; expatriates; fear; hostile environments coping; international assignees; post-traumatic stress disorder; repatriates; stress; terrorism; virtual reality.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Fear*
  • Humans
  • International Cooperation
  • Models, Psychological
  • Social Support
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • Terrorism / psychology*