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The intergenerational effects of war on the health of children.

Devakumar, D; Birch, M; Osrin, D; Sondorp, E; Wells, JC; (2014) The intergenerational effects of war on the health of children. BMC Medicine , 12 , Article 57. 10.1186/1741-7015-12-57. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: The short- and medium-term effects of conflict on population health are reasonably well documented. Less considered are its consequences across generations and potential harms to the health of children yet to be born. Discussion: Looking first at the nature and effects of exposures during conflict, and then at the potential routes through which harm may propagate within families, we consider the intergenerational effects of four features of conflict: violence, challenges to mental health, infection and malnutrition. Conflict-driven harms are transmitted through a complex permissive environment that includes biological, cultural and economic factors, and feedback loops between sources of harm and weaknesses in individual and societal resilience to them. We discuss the multiplicative effects of ongoing conflict when hostilities are prolonged. Summary: We summarize many instances in which the effects of war can propagate across generations. We hope that the evidence laid out in the article will stimulate research and – more importantly – contribute to the discussion of the costs of war; particularly in the longer-term in post-conflict situations in which interventions need to be sustained and adapted over many years.

Type: Article
Title: The intergenerational effects of war on the health of children.
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/1741-7015-12-57
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1186/1741-7015-12-57
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2014 Devakumar et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Keywords: War, Conflict, Developmental origins, Children, Mental health
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Population, Policy and Practice Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1426283
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