Social and political context of summer camps in occupied Palestine: A brief commentary

Amira Oudeh (Lead / Corresponding author), Ian Barron, Ghassan Abdullah, Tahmina Nizam, Peter Willatts

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Abstract

The unique social and political context of the occupied Palestinian Territories (oPT) hasseveral implications for conducting research there. The cumulative violence of decadesof military occupation has resulted in intergenerational psychological disorders. Due tothe lack of funding and poor economic climate, Palestinians seek psychologicaltreatment through communal and creative outlets. One common method Palestiniancommunities use is summer camps, held across the oPT for children. We investigatedthe cognitive and emotional responses of children attending summer camps, to explorehow effective these camps are in alleviating symptoms of trauma and stress (Oudeh, Nizam, Barron, Abdullah & Willatts, 2014). The current commentary highlights the importance of taking into account the social and political context in which summer camps are delivered. Factors identified for analysis include the geographical situation and the relationship to military violence, the nature and impact of 'area' administrative control, the extent of poverty and dependence on aid, and the local decision-making on the purpose and activities of camps as well as the selection criteria for children who attend camps. Recommendations are provided for future research.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Psychological Abnormalities in Children
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Feb 2016

Keywords

  • Trauma
  • Emotion
  • Cognition
  • Summer Camps

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