Since many former child soldiers are aging and having children of their own, this study aimed to understand how the effects of trauma are passed to the next generation. In this qualitative study, semistructured interviews, focus groups, and observations were conducted with 25 former child soldiers and 15 matched civilian parents. Analysis used a grounded-theory approach. Trauma may be transmitted from former child soldiers to their offspring via (a) the effect on indero (how to raise a child); (b) severe parental emotional distress; and (c) community effects. Incorporating themes of indero values on how to raise children, the effects of parental posttraumatic stress and depressive symptoms on offspring, and the stigma associated with the families of former child soldiers may provide key areas of intervention in mental healing.
- Child soldier
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Clinical Psychology
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)