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Psychosocial intervention in extreme military violence: Effectiveness in enhancing children’s socio-emotional competence

Psychosocial intervention in extreme military violence: Effectiveness in enhancing children’s socio-emotional competence

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.

Conference: Demo
Areas of Interest / Categories: Resilience, War

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