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Study Group on Psychosocial Issues (SPINA)

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About this work


MCANW's Study Group on Psychosocial Issues (SPINA) was established in 1987. The group was made up of psychologists, psychotherapists, psychoanalysts and others concerned with the psychosocial impact of the nuclear arms race. SPINA's activities included setting up research projects, providing speakers, and organising events and workshops. The group was chaired by child psychotherapist, Lynn Barnett. The group also worked with the Scottish Working Party on Psychosocial Issues and War (SWPPSI).

The group included a Working Group on Youth Exchanges with USSR and a Working Group on Children under 10. SPINA was particularly interested in researching attitudes of children and young people to nuclear war. Lynn Barnett, child psychotherapist, conducted interviews with children about their attitudes to war, which are presented in the SPINA video, Everything's Going Berserk (1989). The group also published The Nuclear Mentality: a psychosocial analysis of the arms race in 1989. See reference for SA/MED/K/1/6 for this publication.

The group also focused on child refugees and the impact of war on young people. SPINA was involved in research projects concerning the Yugoslav wars.

At the seventeenth European Conference on Psychosomatic Research, 1988, a Standing Working Group "Social Stress and Health" was established. PSAMRA acted as a communication centre for the new working group.

Following the Medact merger, SPINA continued as a working group, broadening its brief to include psychosocial aspects of global security. The group later became known as the Violence, Conflict and Health group.



Physical description

6 boxes


Records relating to nuclear education, including children and the threat of war and the psychosocial impact of nuclear threats, can be found under the reference SA/MED/J/6.

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