Children in danger: coping with the consequences of community violence

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Jossey-Bass, 1992 - Social Science - 262 pages
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Childhood is ideally a time of safety, marked by freedom from the economic, sexual, and political demands that later become part of adult life. For many children, however, particularly those who live in our inner cities, childhood is increasingly a time of danger. The urban war zones of Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington. D.C., are not unlike the war zones of Beirut, Belfast, and Mozambique. In both worlds, children grow up with firsthand knowledge of terror and violence. This book examines the threat to childhood development posed by living amid chronic community violence. It shows caregiving adults such as teachers, psychologists, social workers, and counselors how they can work together to help children while they are still children--before they become angry, aggressive adults. Drawing on their extensive fieldwork in war zones around the world, the authors explore the link between a child's response to growing up in an atmosphere of violence and danger, and the social context established for that child by community and caregivers. They reveal the need for establishing predictable, structured, safe environments for children and they show how school-based programs, by providing children with the continuity and regularity that is otherwise lacking in their lives, can enhance children's natural resilience and help ameliorate some of the long-term developmental consequences of living in danger. In addition to providing firsthand accounts of how children growing up in an atmosphere of violence address their situations, the authors also examine the special concerns that relate to the training and support of teachers who deal not only with the violence in the lives of the children theyteach, but also with their own personal safety and emotional response to their students' traumas.

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The Meaning of Danger in the Lives of Children
From Mozambique
The Developmental Toll of InnerCity Life

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About the author (1992)

James Garbarino, Ph.D., is the author of "Lost Boys" and coauthor of "Parents Under Siege." Formerly codirector of the Family Life Development Center and Professor of Human Development at Cornell University, he is now Professor of Social Work at Boston College. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts.