Child Reintegration Essay

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The Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers (2008) estimates that, worldwide, over 300,000 children under the age of 18 are used in the armed forces. Current research has shown that while these children often face prolonged psychosocial effects as a result of being exposed to and participating first hand in war, many are able to successfully reintegrate into their communities and become productive citizens (Betancourt et al., 2012; Hill & Langholtz, 2003). While there is not a standard practice regarding community reintegration used across all countries, the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Displaced Children and Orphan’s Fund (USAID/DCOF) has identified critical areas of intervention that may lead to more successful reintegration…show more content…
Research from Nepal found that high levels of family and community support for the former soldier in the reintegration process were linked to lower levels of PTSD, depression, and functional impairment (Kohrt et al., 2010). Additionally, research from a longitudinal study in Sierra Leone found that higher levels of family acceptance in particular were associated with lower emotional distress and functional impairment in children, independent of community acceptance levels (Betancourt et al., 2010). Betancourt and colleagues’ (2010) research suggests that the support of the family may be especially important for returning child soldiers, in that supportive and accepting parenting styles were associated with better overall psychosocial adjustment, even in the face of hostility from community

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