In Sierra Leone, as in conflict and postconflict settings around the world, youth are coping with their exposure to violence during conflict as well as the poverty and displacement that follow war and the stigma that can persist long after involvement with armed groups has ended. Both contextual and individual factors influence whether youth overcome these barriers successfully and resume positive life trajectories, or struggle to reintegrate into their families and communities. This study reviews findings from the 14-year Longitudinal Study of War-Affected Youth in Sierra Leone and a recent intervention study examining a short-term group cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)-based intervention for war-affected youth, and discusses the implications of the impact of interventions for understanding and promoting resilience in war-affected youth. The results suggest that group CBT approaches may be a cost-effective means of targeting support to youth most in need of psychosocial support in postconflict settings.

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