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Pathways to PeaceThe Transformative Power of Children and Families$
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James F. Leckman, Catherine Panter-Brick, and Rima Salah

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262027984

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262027984.001.0001

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Mental Health and Development among Children Living in Violent Conditions

Mental Health and Development among Children Living in Violent Conditions

Underlying Processes for Promoting Peace

(p.213) 12 Mental Health and Development among Children Living in Violent Conditions
Pathways to Peace

Raija-Leena Punamäki

The MIT Press

Peacebuilding is believed to be especially challenging among children who fall victims to collective and interpersonal violence. An intriguing question is whether a focus on trauma, and on healing its negative impacts, is necessary for peacebuilding and societally harmonious human development. Some argue that suffering, pain, and injustice must be recognized and healed if peaceful and harmonious development is to be enabled; others emphasize the importance of positive outcomes despite violence. This chapter analyzes how forms of violence (military and domestic) influence the social, emotional, and cognitive development of children. Particular attention is given to the risks and negative impacts as well as the positive protective processes that promote meaningfulness. It also discusses how psychosocial interventions can enhance positive and peace-enhancing development in community and family domains. The core issue is to create political, societal, and cultural preconditions that will facilitate children’s mental growth and generative resilience despite violence. Published in the Strungmann Forum Reports Series.

Keywords:   violence, peacebuilding, trauma, childhood development, early childhood interventions

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