A Social–Ecological, Process-Oriented Perspective on Political Violence and Child Development

E. Mark Cummings*, Marcie C. Goeke-Morey, Christine E. Merrilees, Laura K. Taylor, Peter Shirlow, Laura Taylor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Youth's risk for adjustment problems amid political violence is well documented, but outcomes vary widely, with many children functioning well. Accordingly, researchers are seeking to identify the mechanisms and conditions that contribute to children's adjustment, with an interest in understanding effects on children in terms of changes in the social contexts in which they live and the psychological processes engaged by these social ecologies. In this article, we look at the importance of studying many levels of the social ecology and of differentiating the effects of exposure to contexts of political versus nonpolitical violence, and we address theories about explanatory processes. We review research pertinent to these themes, including a six-wave longitudinal study on political violence and children in Northern Ireland.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-89
Number of pages8
JournalChild Development Perspectives
Issue number2
Early online date19 Apr 2014
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014

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