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Teachers College, Columbia University
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War Causes Fear and Anxiety in Children

Parents, teachers, school counselors and child psychologists are seeing psychological problems in children as a result of the current war. Many children connect the current events to those of September 11th. Nightmares and other sleep disorders are common, along with classroom and playground conflicts, separation problems, and other regressive behavior. During the first Gulf War in 1991 American children hadn't had first hadn experience of the kind of violence they saw on September 11th. War seems closer today and as a result children are worried about safety. Children of Middle Eastern descent also may feel the effects of discrimination and extra scrutiny because of their ethnicity.

Even children's songs have been affected by anxiety. "Every child I know is having psychological problems in relation to this war situation," says John Broughton, an associate professor of
psychology and education at Teacher's College, who consults at a number of schools in Manhattan."There are songs going around the schools about flaming bodies in the
air and people jumping out of the buildings on 9/11,a lot more songs about accidents and crashes and buildings falling and dismemberment."

 

The article, entitled "In wartime, children need reassurance that they will be safe" appeared in the April 8th edition of the New York Daily News.

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