Aufwachsen als Besatzungskind des Zweiten Weltkrieges in Deutschland - Hintergründe und Vorgehen einer Befragung deutscher Besatzungskinder/ Growing up as an occupation child of World War II in Germany: Rationale and methods of a study on German occupation children
Objectives: To date the experiences of German occupation children (GOC) have been described solely in historical studies; empirical research on the psychosocial consequences growing up as German occupation children was missing. This paper provides an introduction to the background, methodological approaches and descriptive information on a sample for the first German-based empirical study on this topic. It also touches on methodical challenges and solution processes. Methods: Children born of war resemble a target group that is difficult to reach (hidden population). Therefore, an investigation needs consultation of both people from the target group and scientific experts (participatory approach) as well as specific methodological approaches. The questionnaire utilized contains adaptations of established and psychometrically validated instruments as well as adapted self-developed items. N = 146 occupation children were surveyed (mean age 63.4, 63.0% women) via press release and contact to platforms of children born of war. Summary: Despite methodological challenges an instrument to assess the target group was developed through participatory methods. The instrument shows high relevance for the target group and is highly accepted. High rates of American and French participants show the influence of networking in platforms on successful recruitment.