Intergenerational transmission of conflict-related trauma in Northern Ireland: A behavior analytic approach.


Intergenerational transmission of trauma describes the impact that traumatic events experienced by one generation have for the subsequent generation. In Northern Ireland, violent conflict raged between 1969 and 1998, when a peace process begun. This study explored to what extent (if any) parents’ experiences of the conflict influenced how children perceived life in this society. Parents completed a questionnaire, and their children drew 2 pictures, depicting Northern Ireland now and before they were born. Children’s behaviors and awareness of the conflict were influenced by their parents’ experiences and narratives, their age, gender, and school. Parental narrative about the violence was influenced by individual learning history, the child’s age and gender, and present circumstances. A behavior analytic approach is offered.