Acts of terrorism have an extremely negative impact on the mental health of children and families. The school siege in Beslan, Russia, in 2004, represents a particularly traumatizing event as it was directed specifically at children and involved the entire community. This qualitative study aims to: (a) examine caregiver reactions to the terrorist attack in Beslan as reported 3 months after the traumatic event; (b) determine the extent to which indigenous cultural values and religious belief systems play a role in Beslan's caregivers' reactions to such event; and (c) identify variables that may function as sources of resilience to caregivers. A convenience sample of 17 primary caregivers from Beslan with at least one child who survived the school siege were asked to participate in semi-structured interviews. Narratives generated from the interviews were qualitatively analyzed using a thematic approach; nine major themes were identified. Caregivers' concerns centered on children's physical and psychological well-being, the reorganization of family life, and the disruption of community ties. Cultural values of pride, heroism, courage, and revenge emerged as relevant aspects shaping caregivers' reactions to the traumatic event. Possible sources of resilience included the willingness to return to normality, social support, and the reaffirmation of positive, culturally shared values in face of the perceived threat of future terrorist attacks. Findings are discussed in terms of their theoretical implications on the effects of trauma on children and families as well as interventions with highly traumatized populations in diverse cultural settings.

Narratives from Caregivers of Children Surviving the Terrorist Attack in Beslan: Issues of Health, Culture, and Resilience

MOSCARDINO, UGHETTA MICAELA MARIA;AXIA, GIOVANNA;SCRIMIN, SARA;
2007

Abstract

Acts of terrorism have an extremely negative impact on the mental health of children and families. The school siege in Beslan, Russia, in 2004, represents a particularly traumatizing event as it was directed specifically at children and involved the entire community. This qualitative study aims to: (a) examine caregiver reactions to the terrorist attack in Beslan as reported 3 months after the traumatic event; (b) determine the extent to which indigenous cultural values and religious belief systems play a role in Beslan's caregivers' reactions to such event; and (c) identify variables that may function as sources of resilience to caregivers. A convenience sample of 17 primary caregivers from Beslan with at least one child who survived the school siege were asked to participate in semi-structured interviews. Narratives generated from the interviews were qualitatively analyzed using a thematic approach; nine major themes were identified. Caregivers' concerns centered on children's physical and psychological well-being, the reorganization of family life, and the disruption of community ties. Cultural values of pride, heroism, courage, and revenge emerged as relevant aspects shaping caregivers' reactions to the traumatic event. Possible sources of resilience included the willingness to return to normality, social support, and the reaffirmation of positive, culturally shared values in face of the perceived threat of future terrorist attacks. Findings are discussed in terms of their theoretical implications on the effects of trauma on children and families as well as interventions with highly traumatized populations in diverse cultural settings.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/1774959
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