A substantial proportion of children experiencing armed violence will suffer psychological and social problems as a result. We present relevant research and reports for practitioners in the field.

Papers shared here explore questions such as: why is it that some children appear ‘resilient’ while others are classed as ‘traumatised’? Do some types of violence (e.g. sexual), result in greater child/youth disturbance? What is the relationship between trauma and guilt in perpetrators of violence? What do we mean by ‘resilience’ and how do differing conceptualisations affect conclusions?

This page addresses these, and other questions, through a variety of types of research studies and practitioner reports. For example, some focus mainly on traumatic outcomes while others examine what factors foster and support child social well-being. Interventions can be highly structured and controlled, focusing on psychological symptoms at the individual or group level. Alternatively, they can conceptualise distress as the product of social-ecological factors that vary according to the local context and that need to be built into any adequate intervention response. Proponents of this latter perspective would argue that only in this way, for example, can interventions facilitate the successful reintegration of returning child soldiers into their communities. Increasingly there is recognition that interventions need to be both appropriate and sustainable at the local level.

Our publications make this wide variety of reports easily accessible to practitioners in the field – particularly those without access to academic libraries or up to date relevant literature. Their range – from a successful dance therapy intervention for excluded former child soldiers in Sierra Leone to a focused cognitive-behavioural intervention with survivors of sexual violence – aims to encourage dialogue and to stimulate improved understanding and practice for children/youth affected by armed conflict.

 (Download PDF)