Although researchers agree that war and military violence form a serious burden on child well-being and mental health, many are seeking positive resources and resilience among traumatized children. Our knowledge is increasing about protective and healing processes among traumatized children, and it is time to introduce resilience and positive coping into effective interventions. Accordingly, the presentation focuses on effectiveness of a school-based intervention in enhancing children’s socio-emotional competence. The health promotion intervention known as Child-to-Child approach was applied to Palestinian children in Gaza in times of intensive military violence. The method provides children an opportunity to learn about and to teach their peers and younger siblings about basic health care. lt provides strategies, tools and activities that are aimed at increasing personal and collective efficacy. The health promotion strategy is combined with brief cognitive behavioural therapeutic approach to alleviate trauma symptoms.
The participants are 225 Palestinians of 10-13 years, 141 belonged to the intervention and 84 to the control group. Socio-emotional outcomes was measured by Friendship Qualities scale (Bukowski, 2004), Self-efficacy scale (Bandura 2003), pro-social behaviour subscale of Strength and Difficulties questionnaire (Goodman 1997) and Sibling Relation Scale (Dunn 1994) at baseline T1 and after the intervention at T2. Primary results show that the preventive intervention was effective in increasing socio-emotional competence among children even in the midst of extreme military violence.
A continuous recording of the meeting held by STAARTS on Nov 14, 2018
Resilience refers to successful adaptation despite adversity, ability to overcome hardships and trauma, developmental competencies or even blossoming in harsh conditions. Abundant research is available on the child-family-and society-related factors that enhance resilience in various hardships including parental mental illness, childhood abuse and major trauma of war and terrorism. In addition to these explanatory factors, it is urgent to understand processes and dynamic mechanisms that underlie the human resilient capacities.
The paper is based on a long-standing research and clinical work with children and adolescents who were exposed to chronic adverse circumstances linked to war in ex-Yugoslavia, exile and deteriorated social context and to abuse and/or neglect in family. The main groups of factors influencing the outcome of traumatic experience were: dimensions of traumatic experience, child's own resources, family network and the social context. Emotional and cognitive maturity of the child, high self-esteem, secure attachment, child's ability to use spontaneously natural ways of healing like play, dreams, creative expression, were the most often recognized protective factors, while the history of previous trauma and pre-existing psychopathology were the most important vulnerability factors.
Medica Mondiale is an international non-governmental organization who supports women and girls who have been sexually violated during war and civil conflict. It also provides services for women affected by other forms of gender-based violence in post-war and conflict zones. medica mondiale built and supports women’s psychosocial and counselling and training centres in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Liberia and DRCongo and supports small scale psychosocial projects for women affected by violence in Cambodia, East Timor, Iraq, Israel, Nepal, Mexico, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Turkey and Uganda.