The ‘Parent Circle’ Peace Education Program: Does it Make Any Change?

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Abstract

This study evaluated a peace education program facilitated by the ‘parents circle family forum.’ The program aims to expose Jewish and Palestinian-Arab adolescents to personal stories of bereavement as a result of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. One hundred and sixty-four Jewish twelfth-grade adolescents from schools throughout Israel filled out questionnaires before the start of the educational program, and 135 Jewish adolescents filled out the same questionnaire up to a week after it ended. Questionnaires included empathy, anger, and legitimacy toward ‘self’ and ‘others’ narratives. Results indicate that, overall, there were not any significant differences before and after the educational program with regard to adolescents’ attitudes toward ‘self’ and ‘others’ narratives. However, when examining differences between subgroups in Israeli society, significant differences between ‘secular’ and ‘traditional’ adolescents emerged. The attitudes of secular adolescents favored narratives of the ‘others,’ while the attitudes of the traditional adolescents favored the ‘self’ narratives. After the program, these differences diminished, meaning that the program had a different impact on each subgroup. The traditional adolescents became more favorable to the ‘others’ narratives, while the secular adolescents became more favorable to their own narratives. Results are discussed on the basis of the theoretical foundation of psychological impacts of intractable conflicts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-191
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Religion and Health
Volume55
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2016

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Peace education
  • Political conflict

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