Childhoods 2005 Oslo

Interview with Brian Barber

Brian Barber is Professor of Child and Family Studies at University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA. He is being interviewed by Hanne Haavind, Professor at Department of Psychology, University of Oslo.

They discuss boys in trouble and the trouble with boys.

The more closely one examines the experience of youth in regions that are plagued with political violence, the more complex the understanding of their experience becomes. Traditionally, focus has been placed predominantly on documenting and predicting a variety of negative indicators of psychological functioning in war populations, with particular attention paid to PTSD. However, while it is true that youth, like other children and adults, can and do suffer psychological symptomatology, it is ever more evident that not all youth display unusually high levels of distress, and, even when they do, a broader assessment of their personal, social, and civic lives often reveals highly adaptive functioning. Professor Barber reflects on past work on youth and political violence, noting areas of potential refinement, highlighting the pivotal role that the meaning youth can or cannot attach to the origins, conduct, and purpose of the conflicts can play in determining their adaptability during and after the conflict.

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