Self-regulation capacities in children exposed to trauma and political violence

Sophie Brickman, Meir Fox, Ruth Pat-Horenczyk

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Continuous distress affects developing children in numerous ways and is especially consequential for children’s self-regulation abilities. During critical periods of brain development, children are especially vulnerable to the effects of trauma and violence. Exposure to trauma, including political violence, can drastically disrupt a child’s capacity for three domains of self-regulation that are crucial to healthy functioning: sensory regulation, executive functioning, and emotion regulation. Children’s self-regulation capacities are further influenced by parental regulation, which is reflected in relational emotion regulation and, at times, the subsequent manifestation of relational post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This chapter summarizes the effects of trauma and exposure to political violence on these domains of regulation and the influence of parental co-regulation in times of continual exposure to trauma and political violence. The chapter concludes with two examples of interventions aimed at enhancing regulation capacities in children facing prolonged exposure to political violence in Israel.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationHandbook of Political Violence and Children
Subtitle of host publicationPsychosocial Effects, Intervention, and Prevention Policy
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9780190874551
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Oxford University Press 2021.


  • Children
  • Emotion regulation
  • Executive functioning
  • Political violence
  • Sensory regulation
  • Trauma


Dive into the research topics of 'Self-regulation capacities in children exposed to trauma and political violence'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this