Armed Conflict and Psychological Wellbeing of Adolescents in Uganda: A Case of Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement, Kiryandongo Distict.
The study assessed how armed conflicts affect psychosocial wellbeing of adolescents in Uganda focusing on of Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement. Study objectives were;
To determine how exposure to trauma as a result of armed conflicts affects the psychosocial well-being of adolescents in Uganda;
Assess the level of resilience amongst adolescents whose psychosocial well-being is affected by armed conflicts,
And examine the coping strategies of affected adolescents.
A cross-sectional survey research design was used. A stratified sampling design was used simple random and purposive sampling techniques to select respondents, including; local leaders, religious leaders, heads of departments, heads of units, males and females adolescents and parents.
The research findings revealed that exposure to trauma as a result of armed conflicts affects the psychosocial well-being of adolescents. There are a lot of coping strategies although not all strategies apply to affected adolescents given that adolescents are affected differently.
There is a level of resilience among affected adolescents. It was concluded that armed conflicts have different effects to adolescents such as witnessing the death of a friend or family members being in combat, forced separation from family and lack of basic needs including medical care, shelter and food all of which affect the psychosocial well- being of adolescents.
It is recommended that prayer and religious faith should be made key coping resource for adolescents, particularly where they feel able to ask questions and gain counsel about their traumatic experiences.
There is need to understand potential relationships between coping strategies and the ways that cognitive and behavioral strategies can be mutually reinforcing in ways that have the potential, to help or harm adolescents’ well-being, that where adolescents may be limited in their ability to deal with the traumatic event directly or lack “problem solving” strategy, they may turn to alternative strategies such as “trying to forget” and praying.
Families should provide basic needs, security and psychological support.