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Children’s Reactions to War, Armed Conflict and Displacement: Resilience in a Social Climate of Support

Abstract

Purpose of Review

The aim of this review was to unravel recent evidence for children’s reactions to war and armed conflict focusing on resilience factors mitigating adverse psychological and psychiatric consequences.

Recent Findings

Three categories of mitigating resilience factors emerged from the literature — personal, family, and community factors. In addition, a unifying model of moderating resilience factors emerged, proposing a higher-tier environmental dimension conceptualized here as social climate of support.

Summary

Wars and armed conflict affect children both by direct exposure to threats, and by disruption of the social fabric supporting development. The notion of producing a climate of social support can direct policy toward service provision and resilience-based programs that both build individual capacities and encompass development of the resources of families, schools, community, and societal structures supportive of children’s adjustment and wellbeing. Future research should shift toward systems thinking within a socio-ecological nesting of individual, familial, community, and societal systems.

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Slone, M., Peer, A. Children’s Reactions to War, Armed Conflict and Displacement: Resilience in a Social Climate of Support. Curr Psychiatry Rep 23, 76 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11920-021-01283-3

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Keywords

  • Resilience
  • Trauma
  • War
  • Armed conflict
  • Post-trauma
  • Children