Questions and Emotions of Minors after Terrorist Attacks: a Qualitative Study using Data from a Belgian Youth-Helpline
Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel
Until now, there is little research on the experiences of indirectly exposed minors after terrorist attacks. This study sheds light on the emotions and questions of such indirectly exposed minors. A qualitative content analysis of secondary data gained from Awel, a youth-helpline, was performed until saturation. Data contained emotions and questions in chat conversations, with 30 minors (8–18 years old). Emotions included guilt, sadness, and especially fear of attacks on themselves, their family, or at school. Questions mostly focused on making sense of the attacks, and how to distinguish fantasy from reality. After an attack children and adolescents experienced a wide range of emotions, and seem to have difficulty to make sense of what happened. Teachers and parents can play an important role in buffering fears, and in offering contextual information and concrete answers.