hrc berkeley logo


Impact of War on the Development of Young Children

Impact of War on the Development of Young Children

Impact of War on the Development Of Young Children

In this article, we consider the negative effects of war on children, particularly those born during conflict. War can negatively impact a child’s development and well-being, and it can also damage a child’s sense of belonging and self-esteem. It is imperative that value systems and normative frameworks are in place to prevent war violence and protect children from the effects of war.

Need for normative and value systems to prevent and protect children from war violence

War violence and armed conflict often target young children. Children are the future of human civilization and each society. The deaths of these children cast a dark shadow on the future. Those who survive the violence carry the scars of fear and hatred into adulthood. They do not receive the knowledge and skills to build their own futures. The deaths of war children have devastating effects on society and civilization.

Lack of normative and value systems to guide war violence and protect young children is a key cause of this abomination. This crisis is present at the local and international levels and is resulting in a breakdown of traditional norms. The impact on children is tremendous and is an especially pressing concern. As such, it is imperative to enhance local efforts and apply international norms to prevent war violence against children.

Community and health systems must support children’s rights and protect them from the harms of war violence. For optimal health and development of these children, these systems must address all relevant child rights.

Negative impacts of war on children’s well-being

War negatively affects the well-being of children in many ways. Children depend on those they love, and often their attachments are disrupted. They may be displaced from their home and placed with relatives or in orphanages. In wartime, a significant proportion of children may experience a combination of malnutrition and infectious disease.

The consequences of war can be profound, even decades after the conflict. Large-scale destruction of infrastructure can have lasting impacts on children, with ramifications on education, health, and labour market outcomes. Children affected by war may have fewer years of schooling and experience significant social and physical disabilities. Children who were raped during the conflict may be stigmatized and lose their opportunities for marriage or childbirth.

In addition to traumatizing children, war damages a child’s environment, which makes it difficult for them to heal. In Liberia, for example, the civil war damaged schools and health care services. As a result, children were not able to receive the care they needed. Studies show that children who receive more care after a traumatic experience are more likely to cope better.

Negative impacts of war on children’s mental health

War has an immense impact on the mental health of children. Many children are exposed to violence and are at risk of developing depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Additionally, children who have been displaced or are fleeing conflict are particularly at risk of poor mental health, especially unaccompanied minors. Further, war has a huge economic impact, disrupting education and basic social services. Children exposed to such stress may show symptoms such as aggression and withdrawal.

Negative impacts of war on children’s psychological health are difficult to assess, but psychiatric research suggests that exposure to war leaves enduring episodes in children. This prolonged exposure to adverse events leads to dysfunctional coping mechanisms, which can affect a child’s ability to cope with situations and develop healthy and productive lives. As a result, children may experience anxiety disorders, depression, dissociative disorders, and behavioral disorders.

In addition to physical trauma, war damages a child’s environment, which can affect their ability to recover. For example, during the Liberian civil war, schools and health services were destroyed, leaving children with fewer resources to recover from their trauma. This reduced the ability of the country’s children to develop meaningful relationships with their peers. Moreover, children exposed to war suffer social stigma that can be a huge impediment to their overall development and well-being.

Negative impacts of war on children’s education

In areas of armed conflict, about one in four children are out of school. Schools are often targeted by the military, which disrupts education and can cause school infrastructure to be damaged. Violence can also affect school attendance, causing the school to close or become unsafe. The effects are even more serious for girls, who are particularly vulnerable to sexual violence on school grounds.

Children who are displaced from their homes, communities and schools often lack access to basic amenities and services, including health care and adequate shelter. They may even be forced to engage in sexual activity and lie to survive. War also disrupts families, and many children are separated from their parents or relatives as a result of conflict. The loss of family is one of the most significant stresses on a child’s life.

Another effect of war on children is psychological. The child can suffer from emotional problems and may even act out the role of a soldier in the conflict. Children who are exposed to war may also experience physical and emotional injuries.

Recent News​