, Volume 42, Issue 4, pp 371-388

Helping Children Exposed to War and Violence: Perspectives from an International Work Group on Interventions for Youth and Families

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Abstract

Background

This paper outlines conclusions from a three-day workgroup hosting the eight authors as well as others with expertise in the evaluation and treatment of youth exposed to war and violence.

Objective

The purpose of this meeting was to bring multiple perspectives together to identify components that comprise effective psychosocial interventions for child victims of war and community violence across cultures. The meeting also sought to identify gaps in the existing treatment approaches.

Method

In the meeting, personal experiences and previous research were discussed to develop a wide-ranging intervention approach, determine a cohesive definition for “indirect” exposure, and identify successful methods of intervention delivery for youth exposed to acts of war and violence.

Results and Conclusions

Key components of intervention for youth exposed to war/violence, important outcome measures, and cultural differences that may influence effective intervention were identified. A clearer definition of “indirect” exposure was also developed. Finally, a nine-phase model was developed to provide guidelines for establishing partnerships between trauma teams and other organizations or schools to implement and disseminate treatment for this population.