Study Provides New Framework for Encouraging Children to Become Peacebuilders in Conflict Zones - Pollack Peacebuilding Systems

Summary of:

Taylor, L. K. (2020). The developmental peacebuilding model (DPM) of children’s prosocial behaviors in settings of intergroup conflict. Child Development Perspectives, 14(3), 127-134. DOI: 10.1111/cdep.12377

Background & Theory

This article explores how the Developmental Peacebuilding Model (DPM) might be of assistance in our understanding of how children can contribute to peacebuilding and what research might lend to a greater understanding of how to implement this effectively.

Research Questions

Taylor, in “The developmental peacebuilding model (DPM) of children’s prosocial behaviors in settings of intergroup conflict” (2020), seeks to address the following question:

    1. How would the developmental peacebuilding model help children become peacebuilders in areas of conflict?


Taylor describes the Developmental Peacebuilding Model (DPM) and explains why this model would be effective at utilizing children to bring peace to an area of conflict. Taylor explains that “the DPM integrates three bodies of work: peace building, a developmental intergroup framework, and a social ecological perspective” (2020). Taylor describes the value of interpersonal prosocial behavior, intergroup prosocial behavior, how children might be helpful in creating peace, how the DPM could lend insight into further research in this area, and what the policy implications of this model would be. All of these areas are specifically focused on children’s development and actions, especially within areas of conflict.


The study concludes that the DPM would be a critical model to use in areas of conflict to help children become peacebuilders and create generations without recurring conflict. As noted by Taylor, “The DPM outlines how children and youth may build on interpersonal (i.e., microsystem) prosocial behaviors to promote structural and cultural (i.e., exo- and macrosystem) changes that can transform the sociopsychological infrastructure in conflict settings” (2020). This is of course critical to changing the future of conflict zones, as it understands that as children grow and act as peacebuilders in an area, they can change the future of that area to move toward peace. It highlights the value children can bring to the future of peacebuilding.

What This Means

  • We are all capable of making positive changes in the world, including children.
  • How we manage conflict and how we understand the world starts when we are young; educating youth in these areas is very important if we want to create a more peaceful world – both within the home and in the public spheres.

Final Takeaway

For consultants: Conflict management starts when we are children and develops more as we grow into adults. Understanding how to address deep-rooted issues and coaching people to be self-reflective can be very helpful for current and future conflict management.

For everyone: Understanding how you handle conflict is very important, and learning what you can do better to resolve or prevent conflict is important for both your own peace and those around you.

Natalie Davis

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