Background: Research highlights how being able to experience security and satisfaction with the living environment is a fundamental resource for children’s subjective well-being (SWB). In Palestine, the ongoing Israeli occupation shapes all spaces and endangers children in their everyday lives. Our study wants to investigate how children engage in the creation of a “safe” place in which they can act and feel secure maintaining a positive psychological functioning. Conceptualizing Palestinian children as active agent who give sense to their own experiences and environment, our research aimed at exploring the function of resources, competences, and attitudes of spatial agency in making meaning to the everyday context in which children live. Our survey wants to explore how children actively confront with dangerous environments and how place might matter for their psychological well-being. Methods: The participants in our pilot research were 29 children attending the primary school in Dheisheh refugee camp, West Bank. Age ranged from 7 to 13 (M=9,66; SD=1,63); 5 males (17%) and 24 females (83%). All children were asked to draw and describe the map of safe and unsafe places in the camp. Ten children (7 girls, 3 boys) were asked to move the conversation into the place itself, outdoor using a ‘walk-along’ technique, where children are competent guide showing the researcher familiar places and narrating their experiences in context. Data were collected in April 2018. All children’s narratives were audiotaped, transcribed and translated by a local bilingual researcher. Thematic content analysis was 12 applied to both written and drawn materials using Atlas.Ti. Inclusion criteria were not to have been diagnosed with physical or psychological diseases. Findings: After TCA five themes emerged. Using the mosque as a place for spiritual resistance and school as a source of happiness and personal improvement where children are able to access spiritual and educational resources for SWB. Internal spaces as a safe place for growing and developing, domestic places where children use social and family relations for improving sense of protection and security. Community spaces as places where children have fun and play an active role in the social and political life of the camp. Living the outdoor spaces in the camp despite environmental dangers and the occupation, spaces and streets in the camp where children can experience competences and sense of control. Some perceptions of risks and unsafety emerged. Military, community violence, environmental degradation are consequences of the occupation that threaten the children capability of mobilizing resources of resilience and resistance. Gender differences were found; namely, boys valorize social and external places as sources of agency while girls are active in internal spaces. Interpretation: Spatial agency is a key factor for enabling and potentiating well-being in children. Psychosocial interventions should be aimed at promoting children’s participation in transforming and reshaping spaces and places for protecting themselves and the community psychological well-being. Cultural and context specific features are indicating the importance of an engendered spatial agency where girls and boys have access to different personal and relational sources of resistance to political and military violence.

Cavazzoni, F., Kittaneh, H., Veronese, G. (2019). Spatial agency among children living in Dheisheh refugee camp: engendered space and place as risk and protection from political and military violence in a refugee camp in occupied Palestine. Intervento presentato a: LPHA - Lancet Palestinian Health Alliance Conference, Amman, Giordania.

Spatial agency among children living in Dheisheh refugee camp: engendered space and place as risk and protection from political and military violence in a refugee camp in occupied Palestine

Cavazzoni, F
;
KITTANEH, HALA;Veronese, G
2019

Abstract

Background: Research highlights how being able to experience security and satisfaction with the living environment is a fundamental resource for children’s subjective well-being (SWB). In Palestine, the ongoing Israeli occupation shapes all spaces and endangers children in their everyday lives. Our study wants to investigate how children engage in the creation of a “safe” place in which they can act and feel secure maintaining a positive psychological functioning. Conceptualizing Palestinian children as active agent who give sense to their own experiences and environment, our research aimed at exploring the function of resources, competences, and attitudes of spatial agency in making meaning to the everyday context in which children live. Our survey wants to explore how children actively confront with dangerous environments and how place might matter for their psychological well-being. Methods: The participants in our pilot research were 29 children attending the primary school in Dheisheh refugee camp, West Bank. Age ranged from 7 to 13 (M=9,66; SD=1,63); 5 males (17%) and 24 females (83%). All children were asked to draw and describe the map of safe and unsafe places in the camp. Ten children (7 girls, 3 boys) were asked to move the conversation into the place itself, outdoor using a ‘walk-along’ technique, where children are competent guide showing the researcher familiar places and narrating their experiences in context. Data were collected in April 2018. All children’s narratives were audiotaped, transcribed and translated by a local bilingual researcher. Thematic content analysis was 12 applied to both written and drawn materials using Atlas.Ti. Inclusion criteria were not to have been diagnosed with physical or psychological diseases. Findings: After TCA five themes emerged. Using the mosque as a place for spiritual resistance and school as a source of happiness and personal improvement where children are able to access spiritual and educational resources for SWB. Internal spaces as a safe place for growing and developing, domestic places where children use social and family relations for improving sense of protection and security. Community spaces as places where children have fun and play an active role in the social and political life of the camp. Living the outdoor spaces in the camp despite environmental dangers and the occupation, spaces and streets in the camp where children can experience competences and sense of control. Some perceptions of risks and unsafety emerged. Military, community violence, environmental degradation are consequences of the occupation that threaten the children capability of mobilizing resources of resilience and resistance. Gender differences were found; namely, boys valorize social and external places as sources of agency while girls are active in internal spaces. Interpretation: Spatial agency is a key factor for enabling and potentiating well-being in children. Psychosocial interventions should be aimed at promoting children’s participation in transforming and reshaping spaces and places for protecting themselves and the community psychological well-being. Cultural and context specific features are indicating the importance of an engendered spatial agency where girls and boys have access to different personal and relational sources of resistance to political and military violence.
No
relazione (orale)
Scientifica
spatial agency-military violence- mental health- Palestinian children
English
LPHA - Lancet Palestinian Health Alliance Conference
Cavazzoni, F., Kittaneh, H., Veronese, G. (2019). Spatial agency among children living in Dheisheh refugee camp: engendered space and place as risk and protection from political and military violence in a refugee camp in occupied Palestine. Intervento presentato a: LPHA - Lancet Palestinian Health Alliance Conference, Amman, Giordania.
Cavazzoni, F; Kittaneh, H; Veronese, G
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10281/223897
Citazioni
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
Social impact