In this article, I use standards and expectations articulated in the late 1990s by Cairns and Dawes to evaluate research on youth experience with political conflict. The volume and visibility of work on this topic suggest progress in this area, as do research methods and the specification of social ecologies. However, researchers have persistently framed the topic narrowly as the degree to which, and how, exposure to political violence predicts mental and behavioral problems. In this review, I spell out the limits of this approach and articulate the need for taking seriously the political context as well as looking at youth as developing, competent, and engaged individuals. I offer alternative questions for research and design to encourage the field to address these complexities more adequately.