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iDEA: Drexel E-repository and Archives > Drexel Theses and Dissertations > Health Sciences Theses and Dissertations > An Exploration of Artwork by Israeli and Palestinian Children: Examining the Definitions, Experiences, and Graphic Portrayals of Suffering and Trauma

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/2952

Title: An Exploration of Artwork by Israeli and Palestinian Children: Examining the Definitions, Experiences, and Graphic Portrayals of Suffering and Trauma
Authors: Alexander, Christina Louise
Keywords: Israelis;Palestinians;Children;Art;Trauma;Suffering;Art Therapy
Issue Date: 2-Feb-2009
Abstract: The purpose of this thesis is to identify and define how suffering and psychological trauma is perceived, experienced, and portrayed artistically by children ages 6 to 12 years old who have lived with sustained violence in Israel and in the Palestinian territory. The research question posed for this study asks: “How are suffering and trauma defined, experienced, and graphically portrayed by Israeli and Palestinian children living with sustained political violence?” This study explores the perception and graphic portrayal of suffering and psychological trauma of children in the Israeli and Palestinian territories. The design of this research is a qualitative case study. A qualitative case study is bounded by time. Therefore the circumscribed time boundaries chosen for this research included data from 1997 to the 2007. These time boundaries were chosen to represent the most recent time period wherein children have experienced sustained violence as a result of ongoing political, religious, cultural, and territorial disagreements for over a decade. The case in this research was examined by collecting data from the following sources: 1) literary and research data; 2) published oral narratives, archival interviews, published case studies; and 3) existing children’s artwork from the public domain. The three data sources were organized into data collection matrices, coded, categorically aggregated, and analyzed for emergent themes. The results of this research indicated that the sustained trauma and/or political violence seem to produce an increased resilience or tolerance to trauma. This appears to be reflected in the structural elements of the artwork used for this study. Moreover, the appropriate structural elements in the artwork appear to reflect a defense against the violent content of the artwork. Thus, in this study the artwork provides information into the underlying psychological state of latency age children who have experienced sustained trauma. Further, external stimuli are influential in shaping the psychological response of children to trauma exposure. Research also suggests that both the age and psychosocial developmental level of children informs the capacity to process the effects of sustained trauma. Finally, to provide comprehensive clinical care, the knowledge of residual effects of trauma, external stimuli, psychological factors, artwork analysis, and indicators are beneficial for effective treatment. Clinical applications suggest the development of preemptive therapeutic treatment to strengthen the internal resources of children during times of sustained trauma. Art therapy intervention in a safe, stable, and consistent manner in order to process traumatic material in the mist of sustained exposure to trauma is considered. Further, the use of family art therapy in order to enhance external resources for children during times of traumatic stress is recommended.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/2952
Appears in Collections:Health Sciences Theses and Dissertations

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