Can more peaceful childhoods promote a culture of peace? Increasing evidence from a broad range of disciplines shows that how we raise our children affects the propensity for conflict and the potential for peace within a given community. In this book, experts from a range of disciplines examine the biological and social underpinnings of child development and the importance of strengthening families to build harmonious and equitable relations across generations. They explore the relevance to the pursuit of peace in the world, highlight directions for future research, and propose novel approaches to translate knowledge into concrete action.
The contributors describe findings from research in biology, neuroscience, evolution, genetics, psychology, social sciences, and policy. They report empirical evidence on children living in violent conditions, resilience in youth, and successful interventions. Their contributions show that the creation of sustainable partnerships with government agencies, community leaders, policy makers, funders, and service providers is a key ingredient for success. Taken together, they suggest possible novel approaches to translate knowledge into concrete action.
Mohammed Abu-Nimer, Marian J. Bakermans-Kranenburg, Jere R. Behrman, Jacqueline Bhabha, W. Thomas Boyce, Pia R. Britto, Ernesto Caffo, C. Sue Carter, Anwarul K. Chowdhury, Daniel J. Christie, James R. Cochrane, Andrew Dawes, Mary Dozier, Nathan A. Fox, Douglas P. Fry, Ilanit Gordon, Kristin Goth, Gary R. Gunderson, Jacqueline Hayden, Markus Heinrichs, Çiğdem Kağitçibaşi, Heidi Keller, Eric B. Keverne, Iris-Tatjana Kolassa, Robert Kumsta, James F. Leckman, Dario Maestripieri, Ann S. Masten, Barak Morgan, Ilham Nasser, Charles A. Nelson, Lucy Nusseibeh, Paul Odhiambo Oburu, David Olds, Olayinka Omigbodun, Mikiko Otani, Hiltrud Otto, Catherine Panter-Brick, Stephen Porges, Raija-Leena Punamäki, Abraham Sagi-Schwartz, Rima Salah, Geraldine Smyth, Howard Steele, Diane Sunar, Mark Tomlinson, Amelia van der Merwe, Marinus H. van IJzendoorn, Charles H. Zeanah
About the Editors
James F. Leckman is the Neison Harris Professor of Child Psychiatry, Psychology, and Pediatrics at Yale University.
Catherine Panter-Brick is Professor of Anthropology, Health, and Global Affairs at Yale University.
Rima Salah, formerly the Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF, is Assistant Clinical Professor at the Yale Child Study Center.
“This innovative and groundbreaking volume is replete with remarkable ideas from leading multidisciplinary thinkers on how the science of early childhood development can facilitate the important and daunting quest for the promotion of a peaceful global citizenry.”
—Dante Cicchetti, William Harris Professor of Child Development and Psychiatry, Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota
“Beginning in utero and throughout childhood, the human brain responds to its environment, reshaping neural connections in line with social experience. But war and other traumas that threaten security distort these processes. Today, with more children than ever before growing up in conflict zones, the implications extend far beyond the suffering of individuals to encompass the rearing environments of future generations and the societies they will compose. In this authoritative, integrative, first-of-its-kind compilation, neuroscientists, psychiatrists, anthropologists, economists, and experts on child development from around the world explore child-rearing environments and policies most likely to mitigate trauma, promote emotional regulation and sensitivity to others, and encourage the formation of positive social relationships.”
—Sarah B. Hrdy, author of Mothers and Others: The Evolutionary Origins of Mutual Understanding
“In this thoughtful collection of essays top scholars across diverse fields—from child development to neuroscience and cultural anthropology—join to shed new light on the question that has baffled humans since the dawn of civilization: how to make the world a place of peace and collaboration and reduce aggression and violence. Their answer intriguingly suggests that peace begins at home and is rooted in the infant’s earliest experiences. Society that strives for peace must attend to its infants, help develop healthy brains, and support parents in carrying this difficult task. A courageous book integrating science and humanity!”
—Ruth Feldman, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, Bar-Ilan University and Yale University