Andrew Tobin, August 4, 2014, http://www.timesofisrael.com/long-conflict-wears-on-teen-psyche-14-year-study, reports that:
Long conflict — especially drawn out periods of terrorism — wears on teen psyche, 14-year study shows…Published in the Journal of Traumatic Stress in June, the study evaluated the psychiatric and psychological state of nearly 9,000 Israeli Jewish teens over 14 years, from 1998 to 2011.
It’s a given: expose teens to on-going war and terrorism and you increase their risk of acquiring mental health issues.
Money better spent:
I would rather see the money spent on prevention.
We know that parents can transmit physiologically and emotionally aspects of the results of their own exposure to violence to their children. We should therefore ensure that there are proper supports in place for the parents to learn and understand how to best support their children under crisis situations. We know that some babies are born with higher Cortisol (“Stress” hormone) levels if the mother is under stress herself during the pregnancy. Identifying mothers at risk and ensuring that they get the support they need during the pregnancy is one way to reduce the risk of a child being predisposed to developing anxiety or issues related to stress.
Other ways to support the children:
Train the caregivers and teachers who spend a large percentage of time with our children, to know how to provide the children with a safe environment in which the adults do not engage with the children in aggressive ways such as screaming at them or verbally intimidating them. As well as, an environment that responds appropriately to “bully” behaviors.
During times when things and events that are happening to us are not in our control, it is crucial to support individuals to identify and focus on all those things which are in our control.
Money can be spent on studies that look at why and how a society consistently fighting for its survival can still thrive. Identifying the strengths is just as valid as looking at the vulnerabilities.