Tobias Hecker

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Soldiers and combatants often report that committing violence can be appealing, fascinating and exciting (Elbert, Weierstall, & Schauer, 2010). This appetite for aggression was investigated in a sample of 224 former combatants from different armed groups and forces in eastern DRC. In a semistructured interview they were questioned about their military(More)
Committing violent acts can be appealing, fascinating, exciting, and addictive (i.e., appetitive). Cultural settings that accept violence as a means to power and success promote this appetitive form of aggression. Former child soldiers of Uganda with military rank reported committing a greater variety of violent acts compared to those without rank. They(More)
BACKGROUND Child soldiers are often both victims and perpetrators of horrendous acts of violence. Research with former child soldiers has consistently shown that exposure to violence is linked to trauma-related disorders and that living in a violent environment is correlated with enhanced levels of aggression. OBJECTIVE To gain more insight into the(More)
BACKGROUND Depending on the exposure to traumatic stressors and combat, 20% to 50% of ex-combatants present with trauma-related disorders, and more than half of the members of armed groups have a proclivity to violence. Therefore, psychotherapeutic assistance should address both, trauma-related suffering and the lowered threshold for aggressive behaviour.(More)
BACKGROUND The number of orphans in Sub-Saharan Africa is constantly rising. While it is known that family or community care is preferable over institutional care of African orphans, little is known about the quality of care in orphanages and possibilities of improvement. STUDY 1: METHODS Exposure to traumatic stress, experiences of violence in the home,(More)
BACKGROUND Human beings from time immemorial have eradicated neighbouring tribes, languages, religions, and cultures. In war and crisis, the cumulative exposure to traumatic stress constitutes a predictor of the development of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, homicide has evolved as a profitable strategy in man, leading to greater(More)
As a consequence of the ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), combatants are constantly involved in various forms of violence. Findings concerning the impact of perpetrating violence on mental health are contradictory, ranging from increasing to buffering the risk for mental ill health. The present study investigated the impact of(More)
BACKGROUND In the ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), combatants are exposed to massive forms of violence and other traumatic stressors. Nevertheless, many combatants do not suffer from trauma-related disorders, although they have experienced numerous traumatizing events. Perceiving aggressive behavior as fascinating and arousing(More)
Violent offenders and soldiers are at high risk of developing appetitive aggression and trauma-related disorders, which reduce successful integration into societies. Narrative exposure therapy (NET) for forensic offender rehabilitation (FORNET) aims at reducing symptoms of traumatic stress (e.g., posttraumatic stress disorder) and controlling readiness for(More)
Many studies have emphasized the role of natural resources in the onset and duration of armed conflict. Due to its characteristics, narcotics are considered to be one of the most influential resources. However, the dynamics of how this particular commodity is linked to conflict is still not well understood. Most scholars have focused on the revenue aspects(More)