ERIC Number: ED399014
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994
Reference Count: N/A
Children as Passive Victims of War: When an Environment in Chaos Stretches the Bonds of Caregiving.
McNamee, Abigail S.
Many things stretch the bonds between caregiver and child, perhaps none more than war. Children's healthy illusions of their personal safety, well-being, and control of their environment is shattered. The resulting stresses cause varying levels and types of trauma, as well as varying mechanisms of coping. This paper explores the problems war causes in a child's environment, particularly in terms of children's responses to war and its effects upon the caregiver-child relationship. Children respond by becoming either passive victims or active warrior victims: passive victims tend to see themselves as helpless and try to carry on as children despite their threatened safety, well-being, and lack of environmental control; active warrior victims are children who take on adult roles and forfeit their childhoods in trying to control their environment. An examination of studies detailing the historical experiences of children in the war situations of World War II, Northern Ireland, Cambodia, South America, and of children in concentration camps is included. Short-term and long term effects, and differences in reactions in children of various age groups, are examined. The paper stresses the importance of caregivers' knowledge of these issues. Contains 25 references. (SD)
Descriptors: Caregiver Child Relationship, Caregiver Role, Child Caregivers, Child Health, Child Psychology, Child Welfare, Children, Coping, Defense Mechanisms, Emotional Response, Foreign Countries, Helping Relationship, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Stress Management, Violence, War, World Problems, World War II
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Cambodia; South America; United Kingdom (Belfast)