2016 AP Month References, Resources and Research

Nurturing Peace for World Harmony

Attachment Parenting International honors parents and caregivers as the ultimate peacemakers.  

Children internalize the values we transmit over time through our own actions and interactions. Parenting infused with peace and harmony informs the responses of our future global leaders as they face conflict.

We aim to support parents in peaceful and harmonious impulses so they might be reflected in future global conditions.

Parents and caregivers who foster peaceful relationships with their children make real contributions toward this global goal.

Peace and harmony can seem like a distant goal when technology constantly broadcasts world news to our wrist, the palm of our hands, our lap or desk. Unprecedented access to the people, places and events around the world is both wonderful and the cumulative stresses can silently build up and weigh on us without our awareness.

The relentless news cycle features conflict with rarely a hopeful note. Loud discord streams continuously and is a pervasive presence in our social lives. Conflict and outrage are regularly stirred in this reactionary stew where micro-aggression, triggers and general incivility feel like inescapable behavioral norms.

Our success as a species is based on our social dependency which in turn insures that conflicts are a regular feature of our lives. It’s impossible to live with so many different fellow humans and avoid conflict.

The good news is something we don’t often hear:  we’re not predisposed to violence. Moreover, violence is not the only or natural result of being a social species. Peace can be our response, our way of life, but we must continuously and consciously choose it so that it becomes a well-worn groove.  

Most of us have the ability to make choices about our behaviors and learn different behaviors, but being able to does not mean that change is easy or quick. 

Children imitate and learn new things with surprising ease, so we can intuitively understand how peace and harmony in the home can lead children to rely on peaceful interactions over time. These are lifetime learning experiences that, when internalized, can persist across generations.  And this is our motivation and incentive to keep seeking and trying peaceful and harmonious parenting.

The advent of instant access to everything has shifted the ground under our feet.  The frequency and degree of our exposure to violence has increased dramatically in just a few years.  A cultural acceptance of violence and, in some cases, even glorification of it can have the effect of acceptance. It’s not that we like it necessarily, it’s just that it’s our new normal. 

The overwhelming focus on negative aspects of life and conflict in the news colors our perception as well and can either numb or desensitize us or increase our general anxiety load, or leave us feeling helpless over events outside our control.  

This October during AP Month we’ll be working to surround parents in peace and harmony.  We aim to support parents in building family lives and parent-child relationships that are as peaceful and harmonious as possible. We’ll discover ways to cope and counterbalance the effects of negativity and uplift and honor the positive, hopeful, loving and secure aspects of our world.

Parenting toddlers who refuse to eat or sleep or, …fill in the blank…. seem a far cry from world peace and harmony, but we’ll examine and explore the connections.  It may not feel like it in any given moment, but cumulative parent-child interactions become an influence fro good that is greater than a collection of moments when we managed to get out the door on time. 

These days when we have to work a little harder to surround ourselves with sustaining goodness, API will help parents tip the balance.  



Statistics we’d like to turn around:

  • If violence containment spending were represented as a discrete industry, it would be the largest industry in the U.S. economy—larger than construction, real estate, professional services, or manufacturing.
  • If violence containment spending were represented as a discrete national economic entity, it would be the seventh largest economy in the world, only slightly smaller than the UK economy.
  • Violence containment spending is four times higher than the national defense budget.
  • Public sector spending on VCI accounts for 10.8 percent of GDP while private sector spending is 4.2 percent of GDP.
  • If U.S. federal violence containment spending was reduced by 5 percent each year for five years, the $326 billion of saved funds would be sufficient to entirely update the energy grid, rebuild all levies, and renew the nation’s school infrastructure.


World Health Organization Statistics on Violence and Injury Prevention

The impact of conflict in our daily lives generates a feeling that’s hard to escape:

As I get caught up in the opinions and harsh words being thrown around Facebook and other social media outlets, I can’t help but think about the message we are trying to make a reality in our home. And I wonder what would happen if we, as adults, stopped shouting long enough to listen, and dropped our pride long enough to learn from the person who’s speaking.


Domestic violence is a reality for many families and children and many dedicated professionals work to change this. The more support we build for families and communities in peace, the less prevalent intimate violence will be over time:

More than five million children are exposed to physical domestic violence each year. We know from the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study that for 95% of children exposed to domestic violence there is also substance abuse, mental illness, neglect, abuse or incarceration within their home.

Domestic violence can teach children negative and harmful lessons:

  • Violence is normal
  • Conflict is resolved by violence
  • Abuse should be kept secret
  • Negative behavior can be excused

Statistically, we will all come into contact with children who are exposed to domestic abuse. As adults, we need to counteract the lesson of domestic violence with kindness, empathy, trust and compassion. We don’t expect children to know math BEFORE we teach them math. We need to help children develop healthy skills, such as conflict resolution, problem solving, emotion regulation and calming strategies. Most importantly, we need to model and encourage healthy relationships.


Article:  Effects, Reduction of Domestic Violence the subject of local peace conferences.

Media is pervasive and may play a role:

Psychologist Leonard Eron of the International Society for Research on Aggression observes, “TV teaches people that aggressive behavior is normative, that the world around you is a jungle when it’s actually not so.” In fact, research has shown that the more television a person watches, the more likely he or she is to believe that “most people would take advantage of you if they got a chance.”


In Virtual Violence the Council on Communication and Media writes:

In the United States, exposure to media violence is becoming an inescapable component of children’s lives. With the rise in new technologies, such as tablets and new gaming platforms, children and adolescents increasingly are exposed to what is known as “virtual violence.” This form of violence is not experienced physically; rather, it is experienced in realistic ways via new technology and ever more intense and realistic games. The American Academy of Pediatrics continues to be concerned about children’s exposure to virtual violence and the effect it has on their overall health and well-being. This policy statement aims to summarize the current state of scientific knowledge regarding the effects of virtual violence on children’s attitudes and behaviors and to make specific recommendations for pediatricians, parents, industry, and policy makers.


While we need to be clear-eyed about the challenges, we work this month to promote a season of hope and agency.  

There are many organizations who are working to turn things around on a global level…..

Funding for Peace and Security Totaled $283 Million in 2013

Global philanthropic support for efforts to prevent, mitigate, and resolve conflicts totaled $283 million in 2013, a report from the Peace and Security Funders Group and Foundation Centerfinds.

According to The Peace and Security Funding Index: An Analysis of Global Foundation Grantmaking (12 pages, PDF), two hundred and eighty-eight foundations awarded nearly two thousand grants in support of more than twelve hundred organizations working for peace, justice, diplomacy, and national and global security, from conducting research on the prevention of nuclear terrorism to supporting citizen journalism in Egypt.

The top fifteen peace and security funders — the Open Society Foundations; Carnegie Corporation of New York; National Endowment for Democracy;  Ford, Howard G. Buffet, and John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur foundations; the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust; the Oak Foundation(Switzerland); Nationale Postcode Loterij (Netherlands); Humanity United; the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation; the International Development Research Centre (Canada); the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation; the Rockefeller Brothers Fund; and the Marcus Foundation — provided two-thirds (67 percent) of the $283 million awarded in 2013 and 70 percent of the funders included in the study awarded less than $250,000 each, and 37 percent gave less than $50,000.


Mohonk Peace Conference


Restorative Justice


Wiki Peace Organizations


And there are organizations that work on multiple levels including community and individual, even parenting:

The NPEIV is an overarching group of individuals, organizations, agencies, coalitions, and groups that embrace a national, multi-disciplinary and multicultural commitment to violence prevention across the lifespan.

NPEIV professionals are in a strategic position to educate parents as well as individuals who work with children and families about the risk factors associated with the use of corporal punishment. Effective parenting does not require physical punishment. Parents need to be informed about the harmful effects of corporal punishment, educated about age-specific expectations for child skills and behavior, and taught and encouraged to use parenting approaches that teach children limit setting, self-regulation, and respect for self and others. Appropriate discipline can assist children in developing healthy emotional balance, the ability to tolerate and regulate frustration and tension, and provide the foundation to behave in socially acceptable ways. Children need consistent and age-appropriate guidance based in support, nurturance, and positive regard by all adults in role-model positions. Open communication between children and every adult in their lives is essential to helping children learn limit setting, acceptable behavior, responsibility, and adult self-discipline. NPEIV advocates for discipline practices that will develop caring, responsible, and self-disciplined individuals and recommends parenting strategies that will nurture, teach, and guide children and adolescents while supporting and promoting the child’s dignity.

  • Strategize to promote peace in the home and communities around the world
  • Create multidisciplinary solutions to prevent violence and abuse across the lifespan
  • Define strategies and promote the expansion of system responsiveness to families experiencing violence in the field of training, practice, and policy
  • Identify academic and practice alliances to support evidence-based service delivery
  • Determine how to best disseminate state-of-the-science and applied knowledge about exposure to interpersonal violence


Non Violent Communication (NVC)


Family Harmony Scale: An instrument … – NCBI

The good news is that the news may be more good than bad if we look at the biggest picture…

Humans are more often at peace than at war; we cooperate more than we conflict. In fact, there is mounting evidence that cooperation may be a central facet in explaining our success as a species.On the other hand, this does not mean we are egalitarian, nonviolent pacifists. Human nature is neither simple nor linear. Our core adaptation is one of cooperation, but we can and do compete—a lot—and often use aggression to do so.


The World is Not Falling Apart

The Council of Foreign Relations Human Security Report

Suffering still persists without a doubt, and violence is a fact for far too many of us.  But this October, we’ll work to support parents and families find and share the peace because…..

As I get caught up in the opinions and harsh words being thrown around Facebook and other social media outlets, I can’t help but think about the message we are trying to make a reality in our home. And I wonder what would happen if we, as adults, stopped shouting long enough to listen, and dropped our pride long enough to learn from the person who’s speaking.

Ultimately this is about showering people in love—even the people who we so strongly disagree with.


Other resources:




  • #lightwebdarkweb Three Reasons To Reform Social Media Be4 It Re-Forms Us by Raffi Cavoukiam
  • The End of Absence, Reclaiming What We’ve Lost in a World of Constant Connection by Michael Harris
  • The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload by Daniel J. Levitin
  • Speed: Facing Our Addiction to Fast and Faster – and Overcoming Our Fear of Slowing Down by Stephanie Brown PhD

Research Articles

Related to Our Global Neighborhood

Children’s exposure to community and war violence and mental health in four African countries

H Foster, J Brooks-Gunn – Social Science & Medicine, 2015 – Elsevier

The effects of exposure to violence on aggressive behavior: The case of Arab and Jewish children in Israel

SF Landau, S Dvir-Gvirsman, R Huesmann… – Hebrew University of …, 2015 – papers.ssrn.com

The characteristics of help seeking among Palestinian adolescents following exposure to community violence

B Leshem, MM Haj-Yahia, NB Guterman – Children and youth services …, 2015 – Elsevier

Promoting Harmonious Relations and Equitable Well-Being: Peace Psychologyand “Intractable” Conflicts

LK TaylorDJ Christie – The Social Psychology of Intractable Conflicts, 2015 – Springer

Freedom and psychological proximity as preconditions of nonviolence: the social psychology of democratic peace

IK Feierabend, M Klicperova-Baker – … Journal of Psychology, 2015 – sap.sagepub.com

Peace vision and its socio-emotional antecedents: The role of forgiveness, trust, and inclusive victim perceptions

M NoorN Shnabel, S Halabi… – Group Processes & …, 2015 – gpi.sagepub.com

The effect of sociopsychological barriers on the processing of new information about peace opportunities

R PoratE Halperin, D Bar-Tal – Journal of Conflict Resolution, 2015 – jcr.sagepub.com

Perceptions of a changing world induce hope and promote peace in intractable conflicts

S Cohen-ChenRJ Crisp… – … and Social Psychology …, 2015 – psp.sagepub.com

Norm perception as a vehicle for social change

ME Tankard, EL Paluck – Social Issues and Policy Review, 2016 – Wiley Online Library

Preventing violence through changing social norms

FG Neville – Oxford textbook of violence prevention: …, 2015 – books.google.com

Educating for a peaceful world

M Deutsch – Morton Deutsch: Major Texts on Peace Psychology, 2015 – Springer

Some contributions of psychology to policies promoting cultures of peace

A Anderson, DJ Christie – … Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, 2001 – Taylor & Francis

Intergroup threat theory

WG Stephan, MD Mealy – … encyclopedia of peace psychology, 2011 – Wiley Online Library

Terrorism and right-wing extremism: The changing face of terrorism and politicalviolence in the 21st century: The virtual community of hatred

JM Post – International journal of group psychotherapy, 2015 – Taylor & Francis

Reducing violence in poor urban areas of Honduras by building community resilience through community-based interventions

NS Hansen-Nord, F Kjaerulf, J Almendarez… – International journal of …, 2016 – Springer

Related to Social networks, Gaming, Media and Parenting

Introduction to the 2016 International Conference on Social Media and Society

A Gruzd, J Jacobson, P Mai, E Ruppert… – … on Social Media & …, 2016 – dl.acm.org

[HTML] The Spreading of Social Energy: How Exposure to Positive and Negative Social News Affects Behavior

Z Yao, R Yu – PloS one, 2016 – journals.plos.org

[HTML] Digital social norm enforcement: Online firestorms in social media

K Rost, L Stahel, BS Frey – PLoS one, 2016 – journals.plos.org

Dangerous minds? Effects of uncivil online comments on aggressive cognitions, emotions, and behavior

L RösnerS WinterNC Krämer – Computers in Human Behavior, 2016 – Elsevier

Civility vs. Incivility in Online Social Interactions: An Evolutionary Approach

A Antoci, A Delfino, F Paglieri, F Panebianco… – 2016 – mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de

Verbal Venting in the Social Web: Effects of Anonymity and Group Norms on Aggressive Language Use in Online Comments

L RösnerNC Krämer – Social Media+ Society, 2016 – sms.sagepub.com

Online moral disengagement, cyberbullying, and cyber-aggression

KC Runions, M Bak – Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social …, 2015 – online.liebertpub.com

Reinforcing spirals model: Conceptualizing the relationship between mediacontent exposure and the development and maintenance of attitudes

MD Slater – Media Psychology, 2015 – Taylor & Francis

[HTML] Parental regulation of online behavior and cyber aggression: Adolescents’ experiences and perspectives

SE Goldstein – Cyberpsychology, 2015 – cyberpsychology.eu

Media violence exposure and physical aggression in fifth-grade children

TR Coker, MN Elliott, DC Schwebel, M Windle… – Academic pediatrics, 2015 – Elsevier

Reducing cyberbullying: A theory of reasoned action‐based video prevention program for college students

AN DoaneML KelleyMR Pearson – Aggressive Behavior, 2016 – Wiley Online Library

Short-and long-term effects of video game violence on interpersonal trust

T RothmundM Gollwitzer, J Bender, C Klimmt – Media Psychology, 2015 – Taylor & Francis

Playing violent video games and desensitization to violence

JF Brockmyer – Child and adolescent psychiatric clinics of North …, 2015 – Elsevier

[HTML] Acting like a tough guy: violent-sexist video games, identification with game characters, masculine beliefs, & empathy for female violence victims

A GabbiadiniP Riva, L Andrighetto, C Volpato… – PLoS one, 2016 – journals.plos.org

New Materialist Analyses of Virtual Gaming, Distributed Violence, and Relational Aggression

DM Søndergaard – Cultural Studies↔ Critical Methodologies, 2016 – csc.sagepub.com

Adolescents’ media exposure may increase their cyberbullying behavior: a longitudinal study

AH den HamerEA Konijn – Journal of Adolescent Health, 2015 – Elsevier

SPSSI research summary on media violence

CA AndersonBJ Bushman… – Analyses of Social …, 2015 – Wiley Online Library

[PDF] The many shades of anonymity: Characterizing anonymous social mediacontent

D CorreaLA SilvaM MondalF Benevenuto… – Proc. of ICWSM, 2015 – mpi-sws.org

What is a good skeptic to do? The case for skepticism in the media violence discussion

DA Gentile – Perspectives on Psychological Science, 2015 – pps.sagepub.com

There is broad consensus: Media researchers agree that violent media increase aggression in children, and pediatricians and parents concur.

BJ BushmanM Gollwitzer, C Cruz – Psychology of Popular Media …, 2015 – psycnet.apa.org

From cyberbullying to well‐being: A narrative‐based participatory approach to values‐oriented design for social media

L BowlerC KnobelE Mattern – Journal of the Association for …, 2015 – Wiley Online Library

Adolescents’ Disclosure and Secrecy About Peer Behavior: Links with Cyber Aggression, Relational Aggression, and Overt Aggression

SE Goldstein – Journal of Child and Family Studies, 2016 – Springer

Analysis of Cyber Aggression and Cyber-Bullying in Social Networking

T NakanoT Suda, Y Okaie… – 2016 IEEE Tenth …, 2016 – ieeexplore.ieee.org

Violent media and hostile appraisals: A meta‐analytic review

BJ Bushman – Aggressive behavior, 2016 – Wiley Online Library

Do social media foster or curtail adolescents’ empathy? A longitudinal study

HGM Vossen, PM Valkenburg – Computers in Human Behavior, 2016 – Elsevier

Fight fire with rainbows: The effects of displayed violence, difficulty, and performance in digital games on affect, aggression, and physiological arousal

J Kneer, M Elson, F Knapp – Computers in Human Behavior, 2016 – Elsevier

Do Angry Birds make for angry children? A meta-analysis of video game influences on children’s and adolescents’ aggression, mental health, prosocial behavior, and …

CJ Ferguson – Perspectives on Psychological Science, 2015 – pps.sagepub.com

Are Some Players More Susceptible Than Others to Video Game Effects?

B Gunter – Does Playing Video Games Make Players More Violent …, 2016 – Springer

Excessive computer game playing: evidence for addiction and aggression?

SM Grüsser, R Thalemann… – CyberPsychology & …, 2006 – online.liebertpub.com

Personality and video gaming: Comparing regular gamers, non-gamers, and gaming addicts and differentiating between game genres

B Braun, JM Stopfer, KW Müller, ME Beutel… – Computers in Human …, 2016 – Elsevier

Why do people play violent video games? Demographic, status-related, and mating-related correlates in men and women

MM Kasumovic, K Blake, BJ Dixson… – Personality and Individual …, 2015 – Elsevier

Antecedents and consequences of game addiction

S Toker, MH Baturay – Computers in Human Behavior, 2016 – Elsevier

Violent entertainment and cooperative behavior: Examining media violence effects on cooperation in a primarily Hispanic sample.

RA Ramos, CJ Ferguson, K Frailing – Psychology of Popular Media …, 2016 – psycnet.apa.org

[HTML] The Spreading of Social Energy: How Exposure to Positive and Negative Social News Affects Behavior

Z Yao, R Yu – PloS one, 2016 – journals.plos.org

Violent Video Games and Violent Crime

S CunninghamB Engelstätter… – Southern Economic …, 2016 – Wiley Online Library

Maternal Meta-Emotion Philosophy and Cognitive Functioning in ChildrenExposed to Violence

E CohodesM Hagan, A Lieberman… – Journal of Child & …, 2015 – Springer

Role of direct and indirect violence exposure on externalizing behavior inchildren

JM Fleckman, SS DruryCA TaylorKP Theall – Journal of Urban Health, 2016 – Springer

General Topics

Intergenerational transmission of violence

CS Widom, HW Wilson – Violence and Mental Health, 2015 – Springer

Helping and hurting others: Person and situation effects on aggressive and prosocial behavior as assessed by the Tangram task

M Saleem, CP BarlettCA Anderson… – Aggressive …, 2016 – Wiley Online Library

Exposed to events that never happen: Generalized unsafety, the default stress response, and prolonged autonomic activity

JF Brosschot, B VerkuilJF Thayer – Neuroscience & Biobehavioral …, 2016 – Elsevier

Links between community violence and the family system: Evidence from children’s feelings of relatedness and perceptions of parent behavior

M Lynch, D Cicchetti – Family Process, 2002 – Wiley Online Library

Postmodern Stress Disorder (PMSD): a possible new disorder

AR Eiser – The American journal of medicine, 2015 – Elsevier

Contributions of positive psychology to peace: Toward global well-being and resilience.

JC CohrsDJ ChristieMP White, C Das – American Psychologist, 2013 – psycnet.apa.org

AP Month Research Archives:

2018 AP Month Research – Love Collective: Sharing Experience and Making Parenting Sweeter

2017 AP Month Research – Word Power: Communication for Connection

2016 AP Month Research – Nurturing Peace: Parenting for World Harmony

2015 AP Month Research  Parental Presence: Birthing Families, Strengthening Society

2014 AP Month Research – Cherishing Parents: Flourishing Children

2013 AP Month Research – Parenting Creatively:  The (H)Art of Parenting

2012 AP Month Research – Relax, Relate, Rejuvenate: Renewed with Parenting Support

2011 AP Month Research – Families at Play

2010 AP Month Research  – Full of Love