Michigan varsity study claims Palestinian, Israeli kids psychologically scarred by war
Ann Arbor (Michigan, US), Sept.17 (ANI): A new University of Michigan study has claimed that Israeli and Palestinian children are suffering psychologically as a result of the violence inflicting the region.
According to the study, which was presented at the International Society for Research on Aggression, nearly 50 percent of Palestinian children between the ages of 11 and 14 reported that they had seen other Palestinians upset or crying because someone they knew or loved had been killed by Israelis.
Nearly the same proportion reported seeing in person other Palestinians who were injured or dead, lying on stretchers or on the ground, as a result of Israeli attacks in the last year.
More than 25 percent of Israeli Jewish children of the same age reported seeing other Israelis upset or crying because someone they knew or loved had been killed by Palestinians, and nearly 10 percent reported that they had seen in person other Israelis who were injured or dead, lying on stretchers or on the ground, as a result of Palestinian attacks in the last year.
"The results show that Palestinian children in particular are seeing extraordinary amounts of very disturbing violence in their daily lives," said psychologist Rowell Huesmann, director of the Research Center for Group Dynamics at the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research (ISR) and principal investigator of the project.
He said that this exposure is associated with dramatic increases in post-traumatic stress symptoms and increases in aggressive behavior directed at peers.
According to the study, children who saw the most violence experienced the highest levels of fear, anxiety, nightmares, and incapacitating thoughts.
The results of the study, which is to be carried out over a period of three years, have emerged after an examination of about 1,500 children aged between 8 and 14.
The National Institute of Child Health and Development, the Fogarty Center for International Studies, the ISR, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah have funded the study. (ANI)