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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:52779
Doc. No:TL22733
Call number:‭3222988‬
Main Entry:Robert J. I. McCouch
Title & Author:Destruction and reconstruction in the aftermath of armed conflict: Assessing risk, resilience, and youth behaviors in post-war BosniaRobert J. I. McCouch
College:Brandeis University, The Heller School for Social Policy and Management
Date:2006
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2006
Page No:413
Abstract:The increasing civilian toll associated with armed conflict has led to a mounting humanitarian crisis. Young people make up an growing proportion of these civilians, and occupy a particularly vulnerable transitional stage between childhood and adulthood. It is of paramount concern of social policy that we determine whether young people's war experience affects their ability to successfully navigate this transition and function in society. Until now, however, the literature has focused on conflict's mental health effects. Examining its effects on post-conflict behaviors would help identify concrete policy objectives---and the tools for achieving them. The present study aided our understanding of how young people's war experience affects society's prospects for peace, stability and sustainability. Data are from the Bosnia Young Adult Survey (n=623), a cross-sectional sample of youths ages 13 to 24 years old. First, it examined whether higher wartime violence exposure reduced political and civic participation, increased substance use and criminality, and lowered work behaviors post-conflict, and uncovered the psychological processes underlying these effects. Second, the study examined whether wartime-to-postwar household changes influenced these pathways. And third, it explored a subgroup of youths exhibiting very high coping ability across a number of measures. Violence exposure levels were associated with lower political and civic participation and higher criminality but not with substance use, and they were associated with higher work engagement. The main psychological factors underlying the expected negative patterns included downturns in youths' peer and adult relationships and in their sense of the future. Declines in household socioeconomics strongly increased the likelihood that their war experience would lead them on negative psychological-behavioral paths. A cluster of highly resilient youth was found, but membership in it did not predict behaviors. These findings suggest that natural responses to violence can become harmful when they continue once the threat is removed. A host of policies are discussed that address the need of war-affected youths for reconnection to themselves, to others, and to the future. By contrast, the prevailing development model of rapid liberalization is argued to be inappropriate when it further disadvantages those at highest risk in already fragile post-conflict societies.
Subject:Social sciences; Psychology; Armed conflict; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Destruction; Reconstruction; Resilience; Risk; Youth; International law; International relations; Psychotherapy; Welfare; 0622:Psychotherapy; 0616:International relations; 0616:International law; 0630:Welfare
Added Entry:L. Saxe
Added Entry:Brandeis University, The Heller School for Social Policy and Management