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Minefields in Their Hearts: The Mental Health of Children in War and Communal Violence

Original Publication Date: April 16, 2012
Last Updated: February 21, 2023
Estimated Read Time: < 1 minute

by Roberta Apfel (Editor), Bennett Simon (Editor)

Introduction: The Holocaust, civil war in Bosnia, drug wars in the cities, random violence in schools, streets, and homes―such events and their aftermath pose special problems for mental health professionals, educators, and others who must help children make sense of acts that endanger them physically and psychically. In this book, edited by Drs. Roberta J. Apfel and Bennett Simon, mental health professionals share their knowledge, experiences, and hopefulness in working with children exposed to war and violence. The result is a moving history of young lives affected by war, persecution, and communal violence, and an invaluable resource for anyone working with children subjected to such traumas.

The contributors to this book―who include psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers, all with direct experience working with children who are victims of war and violence―address the ethics involved in working with children in war zones, children’s development under circumstances of war or violence, post-traumatic stress disorder and other stress reactions, refugee children, “survivor guilt,” interventions and treatments, and the emotional health of the caretakers. The book includes case studies on children of war in Kuwait, on a program involving children of Holocaust survivors and children of Nazi perpetrators, and on the Child Development-Community Policing Program in New Haven.

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