Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name



Josef Korbel School of International Studies

First Advisor

Timothy D. Sisk, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Gwen Mitchell

Third Advisor

Tamra P. d'Estree


Conflict resolution, Intergroup dynamics, Peacebuilding approaches, Qualitative survey, Traumatic stress, Youth


For decades, the international community has recognized that youth are some of the most vulnerable to mental and emotional distress within the intractable and cyclical nature of identity-based violent conflict. Exposure to traumatic stressors within these intergroup conflicts poses unique risks not only to the neurological and social development of youth, but also to the capacities of youth to fully participate in peacebuilding interventions. The peacebuilding field has yet to strongly consider how traumatic stress affects dynamics within programs for youth and how these programs may need to modify expectations of youth’s cognitive, social, and emotional functioning to account for the traumatic dimensions of political and social violence. Through a qualitative analysis of practitioner reflections gathered from an online survey distributed worldwide, this study explores how practitioners conceptualize and approach issues of traumatic stress in peacebuilding programs focused on youth in conflict-affected contexts. The objective is to identify the working assumptions undergirding practitioner conceptualizations and approaches to traumatic stress and gaps in trauma interventions in peacebuilding programs for youth. The implications of these findings will support efforts to enhance trauma-sensitive peacebuilding practice by revisiting and reconsidering preexisting norms.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.


Received from ProQuest

Rights holder

Liza Hester

File size

108 p.

File format





Peace Studies, Social Psychology, International Relations