Adolescents’ Transition to Adulthood and Their Assimilation from Violent to Peaceful Contexts


We study the assimilation to peaceful contexts among adolescents who were exposed to violence (armed conflict) regarding three transitions: marriage/cohabitation, household management and childbearing. The change of context from violent to peaceful is achieved using migrants. We formulate and test nine paths to describe adolescents’ assimilation. These paths are the combinations of the three possible effects of current exposure to violence, and the possible changes of behaviour when adolescents move to peaceful areas. The possible effects are: no effects, positive effect and negative effect. The possible changes of behaviours are: persistency, adaptation and disturbance. Persistency occurs when adolescents’ behaviour continues to be the same after migration. Adaptation indicates that although they were affected by violence before migration, after migrating to peaceful areas they behave as adolescents who have never been exposed to violence. Disturbance describes when the effect of violence is more than countered in a peaceful context. We find that the effects of the exposure to armed conflict on adolescents’ transition to adulthood differ according to adolescents’ features and the nature of the transition. In general, the level of poverty increases the vulnerability of adolescents who are currently exposed to violence, promoting their early transition to marriage/cohabitation, household management and childbearing. After moving to a peaceful environment, adolescents’ behaviour also depends on their characteristics. As result, the assimilation paths also vary between adolescents.

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