Measures: A cross-sectional questionnaire was used to elicit information regarding participants' perceptions of discrimination, hate crimes, racial harassments and PTSD. Most of the questions were based on the existing literature describing the experiences of the Arab and Muslim population, which included both closed and open-ended questions, and consisted of three parts: (1) socio-demographic information, (2) experiences of discrimination, hate crimes and harassment, loss of employment, feelings of safety in the U.S. before and after 9/11, and the major life changes, (3), Symptom of PTSD, which was based on 13 questions chosen from a list of common responses to trauma adapted from Foa et. Al. (2004), and quantified its symptoms as reactions to the 9/11 attacks.
Results: Bivariate, univariate, and stepwise regression analysis were used to analyze the data. The majority of participants reported posttraumatic symptoms as a result of 9/11. Results of the study show that “feeling less safe” after the 9/11 event emerged as the only significant predictor of PTSD (F = 10.32; p < .05). Gender discrepancies indicated that men and women differed in symptom expression and reactions. Whereas men were more likely to experience racial harassment, women were more likely to experience hate crimes, and to express fear of being in public places.
Study Implications: The study highlights the importance of looking at differences between men and women's reactions to stress/racial violence. The fear of retaliation had a greater impact on women than the actual experiences of harassment did on men. This suggests that even Muslim women who have not been victims of racial harassment may be in need of therapeutic intervention or preventive services. When doing research and in practice, we need to look at differences between sub-ethnic groups, since non-Arabs responded differently to post-9/11 stressors. Finally, more research needs to be conducted to explore the relationship between day-to-day race-based stresses among different sub-groups of Muslims, and the cumulative impact of racial harassment over time.