SRCD Statement on the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict
The Society for Research in Child Development mourns the countless lives lost as the Israeli/Palestinian conflict continues. Families and children should not live in fear of war, destruction, and hate. We urge the political leaders of the world to come together to de-escalate and find a peaceful resolution to this and all other conflicts happening in the world.
Although we all suffer when war and conflict erupt, children are the ones who have the most to lose. Research has consistently shown that children’s development while living in war and conflict is severely harmed. Children are dependent on the care and empathy of adults. War and conflict can disrupt these critically important attachment relationships as a result of the death of children’s caregivers, their caregivers’ emotional unavailability, or through several other means. The myriad traumas that children can experience as a result of war and conflict, including homelessness, the loss of basic resources, and disruptions in attachment relationships and in their schooling, can have adverse effects into their adulthood. Even after war and conflict have ended, the effects of death, injuries, psychological suffering, and social and cultural losses continue to reverberate. If our political leaders fail to recognize the importance of de-escalation and peaceful negotiations, whole generations of children will be impacted.
Let humanity and the celebration of cultural diversity take a step forward. Let us remember that we are stronger when we come together to celebrate life and provide care for those who need it the most. We urge our political leaders to put the well-being of children and their families at the top of their priorities, while finding diplomatic solutions to this conflict.
Vonnie C. McLoyd, Ph.D.