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The Psychological Impact of Child Soldiering

  • Elisabeth Schauer
  • Thomas Elbert
Chapter

Abstract

With almost 80% of the fighting forces composed of child soldiers, this is one characterization of the ‘new wars,’ which constitute the dominant form of violent conflict that has emerged only over the last few decades. The development of light weapons, such as automatic guns suitable for children, was an obvious prerequisite for the involvement of children in modern conflicts that typically involve irregular forces, that target mostly civilians, and that are justified by identities, although the economic interests of foreign countries and exiled communities are usually the driving force.

Keywords

Traumatic Event Ptsd Symptom Traumatic Experience Traumatic Stress Armed Conflict 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgements

We highly appreciate the hard work and dedication of our team members at the NGO vivo (http://www.vivo.org), as well as the adjunct Department of Clinical Psychology at the University of Konstanz, Germany (http://www.clinical-psychology.uni-konstanz.de). Most importantly, our respect and thanks goes to our local counselors and collaborating colleagues in the various places of (post-)conflict, but especially to all the boys and girls who have experienced abduction and child soldiering and who persevere so bravely in their struggle for a better tomorrow. Research for this chapter was supported by the NGO vivo, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), the University of Konstanz, Germany, the European Refugee Funds (EFF and ERF), as well as the ‘Herz fuer Kinder Fund’, Hamburg, Germany.

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of KonstanzKonstanzGermany
  2. 2.vivo InternationalKonstanzGermany
  3. 3.University of KonstanzKonstanzGermany

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