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Journal Article

Citation

Vindevogel S, Broekaert E, Derluyn I. J. Interpers. Violence 2013; 28(12): 2413-2436.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2013, SAGE Publishing)

DOI

10.1177/0886260513479031

PMID

23549226

Abstract

Although former child soldiers face considerable challenges after their return from the warring faction to the war-affected society, the presence of resources enables many to maintain well-being in the wake of child soldiering. Academic research has recently engaged with identifying these salient resources, but has left the question why they are helpful to former child soldiers largely unaddressed.This study therefore focuses on the meaning underlying certain phenomena that causes them to become resources. Semistructured in-depth interviews and a free-listing task on resources were conducted with 48 northern Ugandan former child soldiers. The phenomenological hermeneutical method is applied to analyze their lived experiences and the meaning they assign to resources.Four essential themes emerge from this study, representing the fourfold meaning of resources for former child soldiers in helping them (a) to break with their former existence as child soldiers, (b) to be able to overcome the challenges in their current life, (c) to belong to others and the environment to which they have returned, and (d) to become the person they aspire to be.Considering these research themes in the context of former child soldiers' return process, parallels with theories on transition are recognized and further explored so as to contextualize this emerging meaning. As such, this research delivers empirical evidence illustrating how resources help to pilot former child soldiers through transition in the wake of child soldiering.


Language: en

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