terrorism, emotions, perceived risk, psychological distancing, religion


The London bombings on 7 July 2005 highlighted the prevailing terrorist threat to the UK. The present study addressed the psychological response of community (n=294) indirectly exposed to the attacks to discern he broader impact and effects of terrorism. Qualitative content analysis was used to develop a profile of emotions and responses to the attacks. This was supplemented by the use of linguistic analysis demonstrating the enormous heterogeneity and complexity of responses to terrorism. In light of previous work on the wider impact of terrorism, the present study highlighted a relatively restrained impact of terrorism. Notwithstanding this observation, responses were marked by negative emotions, with increased use of references to others than for self. Responses also highlighted the use of psychological distancing more among white than Asian respondents, and the importance of religion, both as a supportive factor and perceived cause of the attacks, with references more prevalent among Asian respondents. Although the ubiquitous nature of negative emotions also slightly heightened reports of perceived risk, the ability of respondents to use methods of social orientation helped their ability to recover, and may be crucial in helping harness unified community-based responses to terrorism.

Original Publication Citation

Bux, S. M., & Coyne, S. M. (2009). A narrative account of the wider impact of the 7 July 2005 London bomb attacks. Journal of Aggression, Conflict, and Peace Research, 1, 24-36.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor