Journal of Psychological Abnormalities

ISSN - 2471-9900


Social and Political Context of Summer Camps in Occupied Palestine: A Brief Commentary

Amira Oudeh, Ian Barron, Ghassan Abdallah, Tahmina Nizam and Peter Willatts

The unique social and political context of the occupied Palestinian Territories (oPT) has several implications for conducting research there. The cumulative violence of decades of military occupation has resulted in intergenerational psychological disorders. Due to the lack of funding and poor economic climate, Palestinians seek psychological treatment through communal and creative outlets. One common method Palestinian communities use is summer camps, held across the oPT for children. We investigated the cognitive and emotional responses of children attending summer camps, to explore how effective these camps are in alleviating symptoms of trauma and stress. The current commentary highlights the importance of taking into account the social and political context in which summer camps are delivered. Factors identified for analysis include the geographical situation and the relationship to military violence, the nature and impact of ?area? administrative control, the extent of poverty and dependence on aid, and the local decision-making on the purpose and activities of camps as well as the selection criteria for children who attend camps. Recommendations are provided for future research.