What is the potential role of early childhood interventions for promoting peace? From our perspective, healthy human development during early childhood can lay the foundation for the child’s acquisition of complex and speci fi c capacities required to engage in peace-promoting behavior. This chapter focuses on children’s capacity to create, maintain, and restore harmonious and equitable relationships with others. Obstacles and catalysts for healthy human development are identi fi ed, as are the competencies required for children to engage in harmonious and equitable relationships. Sustainable peace in a society requires a “systems approach” that reduces both direct and structural violence and promotes peaceful means and socially just ends. A model is proposed based on four sequential foundations: healthy human development, healthy primary relationships, prosocial interpersonal relations, and the adoption of a peace and social justice orientation toward out-group members. Three case studies are presented to clarify the key concepts and propositions we advance. Drawing on an agentic perspective, in which the child is a producer as well as the product of social environments, our concept of peaceful children implies not only healthy human development and the acquisition of speci fi c developmental capacities for peace, but also the child’s internalization of a set of values that support a commitment to relational harmony and social justice. In conclusion, suggestions for future research are offered.
|Title of host publication||Pathways to peace|
|Subtitle of host publication||the transformative power of children and families|
|Editors||James F. Leckman, Catherine Panter-Brick, Rima Salah|
|Place of Publication||Cambridge, MA|
|Number of pages||30|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|
|Name||Strungmann forum reports|