skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 219890 Find in a Library
Title: Adolescents Caught Between Fires: Cognitive Emotion Regulation in Response to War Experiences in Northern Uganda
Journal: Journal of Adolescence  Volume:30  Issue:4  Dated:August 2007  Pages:655-669
Author(s): Kennedy Amone-P'Olak; Nadia Garnefski; Vivian Kraaij
Date Published: August 2007
Page Count: 15
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Formerly abducted adolescents (n=294) at three rehabilitation centers in Uganda were assessed for the prevalence of war experiences and the use of specific cognitive-emotion regulation strategies in response to these experiences.
Abstract: Seventy-five percent of the adolescents had participated in beating or killing captured escapees, often their village partners, friends, or relatives; 22 percent burned houses with people inside, and another 5 percent reported that they mutilated captives. Just over 4 percent witnessed their parents being killed, and slightly more than 6 percent had killed relatives. Approximately 18 percent of the youth had been forced to lie on dead bodies or carry dismembered body parts to harden them to death and mutilation. More than 75 percent of the youth saw people dying of hunger, and 16 percent drank urine instead of water in order to quench their thirst. Sixty-five of the 78 girls reported being sexually abused; none of the boys reported being sexually abused. Strong links were found between specific cognitive-emotion regulation strategies and posttraumatic stress, emotional disorders, and problem behaviors. Denial as a cognitive strategy was common in dealing with trauma. The more denial was reported, the higher were the problem scores. This confirms the findings of other studies that have found denial as a coping strategy to be counterproductive for healthy outcomes. Also, the more adolescents blamed others for their behavior and traumatic symptoms, the more symptoms they reported. The study was conducted from August to October 2003. War experiences were measured with the War Experiences Checklist designed specifically for this study. Information was also obtained on negative life events unrelated to war, how the youth dealt with the war experiences and associated trauma, and existing mental disorders and problem behaviors. 3 tables and 57 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Child abuse; Coping; Emotional disorders; Foreign criminal justice research; Long term health effects of child abuse; Mental disorders; Post-trauma stress disorder (PTSD); Uganda; Violent juvenile offenders; War crimes
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.