Youth in Contexts of Political Violence: A Developmental Approach to the Study of Youth Identity and Emotional Security in Their Communities

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Going beyond the association between youth exposure to political violence and psychopathology, the current article examines within-person change in youth strength of identity with their ethno-political group and youth reports of the insecurity in their communities. Conceptually related but growing out of different paradigms, both group identity and emotional insecurity have been examined as key variables impacting youth responses to threats from other group members. The goal of the current study is to review previous studies examining these two key variables and to contribute new analyses, modeling within-person change in both variables and examining covariation in their growth. The current article uses data from 823 Belfast adolescents over 4 years. The results suggest youth are changing linearly over age in both constructs and that there are ethno-political group differences in how youth are changing. The results also indicate that change in insecurity is related to strength of identity at age 18, and strength of identity and emotional insecurity are related at age 18. Implications and directions for future work in the area of youth and political violence are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-38
Number of pages13
JournalPeace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations

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