Sierra Leone’s Former Child Soldiers: A Follow-Up Study of Psychosocial Adjustment and Community Reintegration

Citation:

Betancourt, Theresa Stichick, Ivelina Ivanova Borisova, Timothy Philip Williams, Theodore H. Whitfield, John Williamson, Robert T. Brennan, Marie de la Soudiere, and Stephen E. Gilman. 2010. “Sierra Leone’s Former Child Soldiers: A Follow-Up Study of Psychosocial Adjustment and Community Reintegration.” Child Development 81 (4): 1077–95.

Authors: Theresa Stichick Betancourt, Ivelina Ivanova Borisova, Timothy Philip Williams, Theodore H. Whitfield, John Williamson, Robert T. Brennan, Marie de la Soudiere, Stephen E. Gilman

Abstract:

This is the first prospective study to investigate psychosocial adjustment in male and female former child soldiers (ages 10-18; n = 156,12% female). The study began in Sierra Leone in 2002 and was designed to examine both risk and protective factors in psychosocial adjustment. Over the 2-year period of follow-up, youth who had wounded or killed others during the war demonstrated increases in hostility. Youth who survived rape not only had higher levels of anxiety and hostility but also demonstrated greater confidence and prosocial attitudes at follow-up. Of the potential protective resources examined, improved community acceptance was associated with reduced depression at follow-up and improved confidence and prosocial attitudes regardless of levels of violence exposure. Retention in school was also associated with greater prosocial attitudes.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Child Soldiers, Gender, Girls, Boys, Health, Mental Health, Post-Conflict Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2010

© 2017 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.