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Untersuchungen zu psychologischen Prozessen im Lebensverlauf von Kindersoldaten

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Untersuchungen zu psychologischen Prozessen im Lebensverlauf von Kindersoldaten

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BIEDERMANN, Jürgen, 2007. Untersuchungen zu psychologischen Prozessen im Lebensverlauf von Kindersoldaten [Master thesis]

@mastersthesis{Biedermann2007Unter-10172, title={Untersuchungen zu psychologischen Prozessen im Lebensverlauf von Kindersoldaten}, year={2007}, author={Biedermann, Jürgen} }

2011-03-25T09:14:45Z Biedermann, Jürgen 2007 2011-03-25T09:14:45Z Investigations of Psychological Processes in the Life Span of Child Soldiers The thesis is dealing with psychological processes experienced by former child soldiers during their time in military duty. The Narrations of 24 former child soldiers (13 female, 11 male) were analyzed.<br /><br />All child soldiers were forcefully recruited by the LRA, a rebel movement which has been acting in the North of Uganda for more than 20 years. The narrations result from a trauma focused therapy called Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET). It is based on cognitive behavioral exposure principles and designed to treat Posttraumatic Stress Disorders. In NET, the patient repeatedly talks about the worst traumatic events in his life in detail while re-experiencing the sensomotoric perceptions, body sensations, emotions and cognitions associated with these events. Focusing on the detailed report of the traumatic experiences, the patient constructs a narration of his life.<br /><br />Methodically, the analysis of the narrations refers to the Narrative Explanation Model of Danto (1974), which transfers the question of why a certain change happened into the question of how this change happened. Additionally, social psychology theories were attended.<br /><br />The aim of the study was to develop a course model of psychological processes that take place after the recruitment into the LRA. It turned out that the child soldiers are going through an adaptation process with ongoing time. In the beginning, the adaptation results from the attempt to avoid punishments which, in many cases, reach a deadly intensity if the child soldiers don t fulfill the ordered commands (given by their commanders). At the same time, the adaptation process enhances the child soldiers self efficacy to a certain degree and the environment becomes more predictable for them again.<br /><br />In their initial periods, the child soldiers are not only beaten by the rebels but are also forced to participate in punishing others, which often consists in beating them until they die. These experiences are emotionally very intense and traumatic, but with ongoing time the child soldiers learn how to emotionally and cognitively cope with the increasing embedding into the actions of the LRA, e.g. the killing of others or the participation in looting villages to get access to food supply, and the intensity of the emotional arousal during them decreases. Crucial in the child soldiers perception of the concerning situations is that the frame of reference lies beside their responsibility and the alternative of not participating would mean their death. In consequence, the children distance themselves from the objects of violence and focus on aspects of a professional execution of their role-specific duty, a mechanism which can be viewed under the role-distance concept of Goffman (1973). Further, the behavior rule fulfilling the given orders without protest becomes more and more internalized and a role-based identity is developed, fostered through the highly hierarchical-military structure of the LRA, in which every member has to fulfill his duties. Simultaneously, a group-based identity emerges and the support of the LRA-unit member becomes necessary for survival, especially in battles against the government forces. Female child soldiers are, in general, undergoing the same processes like males, with the exception that active participation in the frontline of the battles is rather uncommon. However, they are confronted with an additional highly traumatic experience as they are often given as wife to and raped by the rebel commanders. In respect of the traumatic experience of the often continuing rapes, again an adaptation process takes place and the women often regard it as fate to be suffered to stay with their men.<br /><br />Subsequently, the findings of the course model will be discussed in light of the Posttraumatic Stress Symptomatic in the child soldiers and explanation approaches will be presented, referring to the fact that the PTSD rate is extremely low in respect to the high amount of potentially traumatic experiences which the children/ youth exhibit when they return from the LRA, but then seems to increase with subsequent time in their home villages. As a central point, the adaptation of meaning and belief structures will be pointed out, which develops during the stay with the rebels and is challenged as soon as they are confronted with a need to justify themselves in their home villages for the fact that they often also participated in the atrocities against the civil population. application/pdf deu Untersuchungen zu psychologischen Prozessen im Lebensverlauf von Kindersoldaten Biedermann, Jürgen Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic

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