Presented by: Illene N. Cupit, PhD
University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
Department of Human Development
Abstract: Estimates from agencies such as the World Health Organization and UNICEF suggest that global crises including violence due to terrorism, sectarian war, poverty and natural disasters have left hundreds of thousands of infants, children, adolescents and young adults traumatized and grief-stricken over the deaths of their loved ones. Secondary and ambiguous losses also undermine their ability to cope and move beyond mere survival. Understanding the impact of such trauma involves consideration of how normative developmental tasks are disrupted, how children and adolescents process grief, and how intervention may effectively work to promote resilience in those affected by these horrifically negative events. A model of global intervention, emphasizing grief work within an ecological systems framework is outlined with the aim of demonstrating that human resiliency can be nurtured for many of the world’s affected youth. Examples from inspiring interventive work in Uganda, South Africa and the United States will be presented.