Exposure to Conflict and Violence across Contexts: Relations to Adjustment among Palestinian Children

L. Rowell Huesmann (PI), The University of Michigan, Institute for Social Research;
Eric Dubow (Co-PI), Bowling Green State University; Paul Boxer (Co-PI), Rutgers University; Jeremy Ginges (Co-PI), New School for Social Research; Simha Landau (Co-PI), Hebrew University of Jerusalem; and Khalil Shikaki (Co-PI), Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research

The project seeks to advance our understanding of how persistent and extreme exposure to political conflict and violence combines with cognitive, emotional, and self processes to influence the psychosocial adjustment and mental health of children. We are studying those processes in two linked samples: Israeli (Jewish and Arab) and Palestinian children living in the conflicted areas of Israel and Palestine. We hypothesize that individual differences among children in our sample in exposure to extreme political violence will be associated with negative mental health consequences and problem behavior on the part of the children. However, we also hypothesize that there will be strong moderation of these effects as a function of parent-child relationships and peer relationships. This is a prospective longitudinal field study with a cohort-sequential sampling design to include children and adolescents at ages 8, 11, and 14 at the first assessment, who will be followed annually for three years through the ages of 10, 13, and 16. Our samples have been recruited from communities located in Palestine and Israel, with the cooperation and collaboration of researchers based at Hebrew University and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research. The assessments will include interview measures for youth and their parents. The first wave of data collection was completed in the spring and summer of 2007, the second wave in 2008, and the third wave in 2009.

PUBLICATIONS:

Dubow, E. F., Boxer, P., Huesmann, L. R., Skikaki, K., Landau, S., Gvirsman, S., & Ginges, J. (2010). Exposure to conflict and violence across contexts: Relations to adjustment among Palestinian children. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 39, 103-116.

Dubow, E. F., Huesmann, L. R., & Boxer, P. (2009). A social-cognitive-ecological framework for understanding the impact of exposure to persistent ethnic–political violence on children’s psychosocial adjustment. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 12, 113–126.