Hundreds of thousands of children are forced or legally recruited combatants in no fewer than 70 warring parties across the world. In addition to these child soldiers, thousands of youth voluntarily participate in politically related conflict. Why, how, and in what capacities are such large numbers of teenagers involved in war and how are they affected? Adolescents and War brings together world experts in an evidence-based volume to thoroughly understand and document the intricacies of youth who have had substantial involvement in political violence. Contributors argue that the assumption that youth are automatically debilitated by the violence they experience is much too simplistic: effective care for youth must include an awareness of their motives and beliefs, the roles they played in the conflict, their relationships with others, and the opportunities available to them after their experiences with war. The book suggests that the meaning youth make of a conflict may protect them from mental harm.
For example, Palestinian teens who were actively engaged in the first Intifada have fared better than Bosnian teens who were virtual sitting ducks to the sniper and grenade launches of the hidden forces during the siege of Sarajevo. Covering youth involvement in conflicts in Afghanistan, Angola, Sierra Leone, Mozambique, Northern Ireland, Israel/Palestine, and Bosnia, the volume will be of interest to psychologists, sociologists, and political scientists and should be adopted for courses in social psychology, crisis intervention, and international conflict.