Connolly and Healy (2004) Short Story

Connolly and Healy (2004) Short StoryConnolly and Healy (2004) Short Story

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Connolly and Healy (2004) explored the experiences and perspectives of children aged 3-11 years on conflict. The study compared the experiences and perspectives of children exposed to sectarian tension and violence and those living without. The findings reported little differences in the day-to-day experiences among the children. Also, the place where children lived impacted their lives and perspectives in a greater way. Children raised under the shadow of Sectarian Violence were neighbourhood-focused while those living freely from sectarian violence were city focused. The attitudes towards violence also varied with the age group. Children’s violent incidence enacting increased as they grew; this was evident among the children raised under the shadow of sectarian. On the other hand, the level of awareness on violence was limited among the children raised with sectarian violence.

A comparative analysis based on religion showed that the Catholic children preferred tricolour while the Protestants young children prefer union jack. The observation confirms that children understand the symbols they see in the environment. Violence does not appear among play of the children aged between 3 and 4 years; however, this does not mean that they are not aware of the violent events in their environment. Children aged between 7 and 8 years are more exposed as they spend more time outside (Connolly and Healy, 2004). However, they are not likely to directly engage in confrontational games. Furthermore, the immediate environment seemed to influence the emerging identities and day to day activities among the children.

Connolly and Healy (2004) Short Story

In both cases, interviews and direct observation research methodologies were used. Direct observation reduces the likelihood of the target audience changing their behaviours to appease the researcher. The methodology was unstructured and qualitative-based. Children were accessed through the primary schools and nurseries in four areas. Two areas had experienced high levels of violence and sectarian while other areas had little experience of direct violence.




Connolly, P. and Healy, J. (2004). Children and the Conflict in Northern Ireland: the Perspectives of 3-11 year olds. OFMDFM. Read Executive summary i-vi + pp 1-12; 23-35; 38-43; 49-64. Skim pp. 13-21.


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