Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work


Social Work

First Advisor

Eugene Randall Basham


Previous researchers have reported the lasting effects of child soldiering and the difficulties that ex-child soldiers experience as they transition to civilian living. The primary purpose of this study is to gain a better understanding about the reintegration experiences and meaning of reintegration as perceived by ex-child soldiers located in or near Monrovia, the capital city of Liberia. Furthermore, this study explores participants' expectations, perceptions of the reintegration process as well as contributing factors and obstacles to reintegration that helped shaped their reintegration experience within the context of Liberia. A phenomenological research design was used to study the reintegration experiences of 34 (20 males and 14 females) ex-child soldiers. Data analysis uncovered six textural themes: motivation for disarmament, desire to rebuild lives through knowledge and skills, dissatisfaction with reintegration, perceptions of reintegration, powerlessness and perception of future combat participation. It was concluded that participants in this study were influenced to disarm by external motivators, desired to rebuild their lives through knowledge and skills, were dissatisfied with reintegration, perceived themselves as not fully reintegrated, experienced powerlessness and were unwilling to return to future combat despite economic hardships.


Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social Work


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

Included in

Social Work Commons