A World Turned Upside Down: Social Ecological Approaches to Children in War Zones / Edition 1

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A World Turned Upside Down looks at the experiences of children in war from a psychological and social ecological perspective, offering thoughtful observations and dispelling myths about what results when children grow up in conflict situations.

In contrast to individualized approaches, the volume offers a deeper conceptualization that shows the socially mediated impacts of war. Children exposed to the same traumatic experiences may have different reactions and needs for psychosocial support. Further, psychosocial assistance to war-affected children often occurs not through the provision of therapy by outsiders but via support from insiders.

Each contributor has worked extensively with children in war zones in Europe, Africa, Latin America, and Asia. They refrain from common perceptions of children as victims of war-induced trauma to provide a holistic understanding of children's experiences. Each helps pinpoint ways to reduce further violence, foster well-being and nurture the kinds of social connections that can liberate children from the pathologies of war so that they can mature into healthy and well-adjusted adults.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Little is left out of this volume, which encompasses culture and gender economics. It even takes in a longitudinal study by Boothby, who reports on research that has followed children over 16 years in search of what may have facilitated their reintegration and reconciliation after war.... comprehensive and informative, making it a ‘must read’ for practitioners."

"This collection addresses a pressing issue that figures in dozens of conflicts around the world - especially in Africa but also in Asia, South America, and Eastern Europe. The authors gather significant data and provide arresting analysis and insight. The book should be of interest to everyone who seeks to understand and reverse the terrible abuse of children in war zones."

"The vast experience and tested approaches of the authors provide excellent and authoritative guidance for those intending to respond to the urgent psychosocial needs of affected populations."

"An excellent reader for graduate students in several disciplinary fields, including international child welfare, development studies, conflict studies, psychology, and related social sciences, providing valuable overviews with useful references. The issues and frameworks discussed have extensive relevance. This is a valuable resource for development and humanitarian practitioners, policy makers, and organizations working in conflict, post-conflict and refugee settings, within the psychosocial sector and beyond"

"An important addition to the study of war affected children that can be a valuable resource for students, academics, policy makers and practitioners who are interested in child and adolescent development and the need for an effective response to children traumatized by conflict."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781565492257
  • Publisher: Kumarian Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/28/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Neil Boothby is an internationally recognized expert and advocate for children affected by war and displacement. As a senior representative of UNICEF, UNHCR and Save the Children, he has worked for more than 20 years with children in crises in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. As director of the Program on Forced Migration and Health and Professor of Clinical Population and Family Health at the Mailman School, his research focuses on the psychosocial consequences of organized violence on children. He is also the recipient of several awards for his fieldwork, including the Red Cross Humanitarian of the Year Award, for his work with child soldiers, the Mickey Leyland Award, for his work on behalf of uprooted people, the United Nation's Golden Achievement Award, for excellence in social sector activities, and Duke University's Humanitarian Service Award.

Allison Strang is a Research Fellow at the Institute for International Health and Development, Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh. She is a psychologist whose work has spanned the fields of education, training and health - generally focusing on addressing the needs marginalized groups.

Michael Wessells is Senior Child Protection Specialist for the Christian Children’s Fund, Professor of Clinical Population and Family Health at Columbia University in the Program on Forced Migration and Health, and Professor of Psychology at Randolph-Macon College.

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Table of Contents

Figures and Tables vii

Abbreviations and Acronyms ix

Introduction 1

1 A culture-based, integrative approach Helping war-affected children Kathleen Kostelny 19

2 What is family? The nature and functions of families in times of conflict Alastair Ager 39

3 Running scared When children become separated in emergencies Amy Hepburn 63

4 Girlhoods stolen The plight of girl soldiers during and after armed conflict Susan McKay 89

5 Education and hope A psychosocial assessment of Palestinian children Cairo Arafat Thahabieh Musleh 111

6 Silenced voices? Youth and peer relationships in armed conflict and its aftermath Siobhán McEvoy-Levy 133

7 When former child soldiers grow up The keys to reintegration and reconciliation Neil Boothby 155

8 A living wage The importance of livelihood in reintegrating former child soldiers Michael Wessells 179

9 Religion as resource and risk The double-edged sword for children in situations of armed conflict Michael Wessells Alison Strang 199

10 Layers of support The social ecology of protecting children in war Carl Triplehorn Catherine Chen 233

About the Authors 243

Index 247

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