1) Play in situations of crisis, conflict or challenge

The impacts on the health and wellbeing of children living in situations of crisis, such as those living in conflict zones or in the wake of natural disasters, has been a key concern of the IPA for many years. IPA 2017 continues this exploration, but broadens our focus to consider children living in other challenging contexts such as those living with high levels of poverty, crime and violence, illness and disease or substance abuse. As well, we consider children suffering from cultural loss or deprivation, familial separation and geographical isolation.

Recent global events have also drawn our attention to the difficulties faced by refugee children, not only as they fell from conflict or adapt to temporary settlements, but as they try to resettle in unfamiliar environments. In Canada, as in many other nations, Indigenous children can also face significant challenges.

This special theme aims to deepen our understanding of the impacts on children living in crisis, conflict or challenge, and to explore the role of play in mitigating impacts, scaffolding resilience and promoting healing. Topics for presentation could include:

  • Play in situations of crisis or conflict; play in challenging contexts
  • Access to or impacts of play in conflict zones, challenging contexts or during/after natural disasters
  • Play deprivation
  • Play for coping, healing and reconciliation
  • Child and community resilience and adaptation through play
  • Play-related research or projects with and for children in challenging contexts
  • Participatory planning and design in challenging contexts; culturally appropriate play planning