The effects on children of political violence, and links with community and domestic conflict, are matters of international concern. The mechanisms by which political (i.e., ethnic) conflict and community violence (criminal, sectarian) relate to the family, and, in turn, children's well-being and development are little understood. Children are at risk regardless of formal accords, which may or may not last, as long as sectarianism and segregation between ethnic groups remain. This proposal is to continue investigation of a social ecological model for the effects of political violence on children. The longitudinal sample consists of 700 working class families in Catholic and Protestant areas of Belfast, Northern Ireland. In Phase 1 both mothers and children were interviewed in their home on all aspects of this model (i.e., political, community, family, child regulation and adjustment). Preliminary analyses support the social ecological perspective. A second wave of data will be collected in 2007-2008. Given the unique sample, and the promise of initial model testing, this application requests support to continue to follow this sample for three more waves, spaced one year apart, towards better elucidating the mechanisms, pathways, and conditions underlying associations between political tension and child maladjustment over time. This is a unique opportunity for studying dynamic change processes in these multiple and interrelated contexts over time, with implications for understanding change processes affecting children. Phase 2 is needed to more adequately test and examine the explanatory and predictive value of this perspective, and provides a unique opportunity to study continuity and change in contexts of political violence affecting children and adolescents. This research thus will contribute to understanding of ecological, psychological, and familial processes underlying effects of ethnic conflict in Northern Ireland on children and adolescents, with implications for other regions of the world with histories of ethnic conflict and political violence.

Public Health Relevance

This study will contribute to understanding of ecological, psychological, and familial processes underlying effects of ethnic conflict in Northern Ireland on children, providing a template for study of the impact of children's exposure to sectarian violence worldwide. More generally, understanding of relations between community violence, family functioning, adolescents'regulatory processes, and adolescent adjustment will be uniquely advanced.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01HD046933-09
Application #
8279158
Study Section
Community Influences on Health Behavior (CIHB)
Program Officer
Maholmes, Valerie
Project Start
2004-04-01
Project End
2014-05-31
Budget Start
2012-06-01
Budget End
2014-05-31
Support Year
9
Fiscal Year
2012
Total Cost
$566,416
Indirect Cost
$98,709
Name
University of Notre Dame
Department
Psychology
Type
Schools of Arts and Sciences
DUNS #
824910376
City
Notre Dame
State
IN
Country
United States
Zip Code
46556
Taylor, Laura K; Merrilees, Christine E; Goeke-Morey, Marcie C et al. (2014) Trajectories of Adolescent Aggression and Family Cohesion: The Potential to Perpetuate or Ameliorate Political Conflict. J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol :1-15
Merrilees, Christine E; Taylor, Laura K; Goeke-Morey, Marcie C et al. (2014) The protective role of group identity: sectarian antisocial behavior and adolescent emotion problems. Child Dev 85:412-20
Cummings, E Mark; Merrilees, Christine E; Taylor, Laura K et al. (2013) Longitudinal relations between sectarian and nonsectarian community violence and child adjustment in Northern Ireland. Dev Psychopathol 25:615-27
Merrilees, Christine E; Cairns, Ed; Taylor, Laura K et al. (2013) Social identity and youth aggressive and delinquent behaviors in a context of political violence. Polit Psychol 34:
Taylor, Laura K; Merrilees, Christine E; Cairns, Ed et al. (2013) Risk and resilience: the moderating role of social coping for maternal mental health in a setting of political conflict. Int J Psychol 48:591-603
Cummings, E Mark; Merrilees, Christine E; Schermerhorn, Alice C et al. (2011) Longitudinal pathways between political violence and child adjustment: the role of emotional security about the community in Northern Ireland. J Abnorm Child Psychol 39:213-24
Merrilees, Christine E; Cairns, Ed; Goeke-Morey, Marcie C et al. (2011) ASSOCIATIONS BETWEEN MOTHERS' EXPERIENCE WITH THE TROUBLES IN NORTHERN IRELAND AND MOTHERS' AND CHILDREN'S PSYCHOLOGICAL FUNCTIONING: THE MODERATING ROLE OF SOCIAL IDENTITY. J Community Psychol 39:60-75