This book chapter from Adolescents and War: How Youth Deal With Political Violence aims to contribute to a more holistic understanding of the consequences of youth soldiering, recognizing the diversity within the category “child soldiers” and using young people’s testimonies to show how youth understand their experiences and choices. It examines the varied roles and experiences of youth soldiers, connecting these with gender, the choices young people make while associated with an armed group, and their evolving sense of meaning and identity. Then this chapter probes the impact of youth soldiering within a holistic framework that links psychosocial well-being with health, cosmology, economics, and social roles and relations. Finally, it includes reflections on this holistic conceptualization for social reintegration and peace-building.
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