[Skip to Navigation]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
August 6, 1997

Minefields in Their Hearts: The Mental Health of Children in War and Communal Violence

Author Affiliations

Child Abuse Prevention Program County of Los Angeles Department of Health Services Los Angeles, Calif

JAMA. 1997;278(5):440-441. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550050104046

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


In Minefields in Their Hearts multiple authors take us places we don't want to go, describe why little research exists on massive assaults on children, and out-line our need to address our own countertransference. Topics vary from World War II Holocaust survivors to third world civil wars and chronic inner-city violence in the United States. Chapters address political and ethical questions avoided in traditional office work. Intervention addresses the need for social change, with direction guided by the needs of the victims and their culture. Unique experiences in impoverished countries give us special lessons.

Arroyo and Eth describe steps to address goals for post-traumatic stress disorder intervention: resuming normal routines, critical incident debriefing for children and caretakers, education about stress reactions, and identification of those in need of more intervention. The goals translate for inner-city violence in countries with long-term resources, while much of this book addresses severe violence in