Hooray for war! If any one ever asked you what the Iraq war is good for, tell 'em this study by the United States Military Academy: it is good for the self esteem of Iraqi teenagers (if they're still alive ...)[Re-reading my intro, I agree that it was a bit snarky. It's never my intention to denigrate the US armed forces - they have my respect, support, and admiration for doing a difficult and dangerous job. Get back home safely soon, guys.]
Here's an interesting study by the US Army on the effect of war on the psyche of Iraqi teens:
For obvious reasons, few social science researchers have ventured into Iraq since the American-led invasion. However, in 2004, a year into the hostilities, the US Army funded a team of Iraqi interviewers, based at the Asharq Centre for Polls and Marketing Research, to go into ten neighbourhoods of Baghdad to survey the concerns and self-esteem of 1000 teenagers.
The results showed that rather than damaging their sense of self, the war appeared to have bolstered the teenagers' self-esteem, especially in those who felt most strongly that their country was under threat. [...]
The researchers said their finding was consistent with Social Identity Theory, which predicts that people will seek to maintain their sense of self when their identity is under threat. It's also consistent with research on mortality salience, showing that people tend to shore up their sense of self when reminded of, or threatened by, risk of death.