Traumatic experiences in Adolescents | Mindful Journey Center

Traumatic experiences in Adolescents

Traumatic experiences in Adolescents


Adolescence is a developmental stage where significant changes arise including the psychosocial. Psychosocial development refers to the search for identity, gender identity, emotional relationships (family, peers, society) and behavior. This development will depend on the circumstances and dynamics of which the adolescent has been part of all previous development. This will result in a set of positive traits, personal resources that will make it easier for the formation of a healthy and stable identity. This identity will be defined by the own values and beliefs.


During these changes there are processes that relate to how the adolescent perceives, thinks and understands his inner world, outer world and their emotional states. The emotional state of this young person will make a difference in how to cope. So your emotional state (positive traits, personal resources, support resources) may help predict what will be the coping style to adversity.


The people throughout their lives are constantly facing life situations and adversities. The way how they face it will be connected to the emotional states. Teenagers are part of this reality that may be a more vulnerable and critical process causing them emotional distress and face difficulty managing this process. For this reason, cognitive, moral and psychological mental processes must be psychologically stable and healthy for the traumatic event not to affect the normal course of their psychosocial development.


In adolescence, the ability to organize and carry just any action required to handle situations is still in developing. If the teen does not have a solid self-esteem and a healthy, positive sense of self, it will be really disturbing to cope with the situation.


Some factors that promote a negative psychological impact on the adolescent’s life during crises and traumatic events are:


1. Mental Health (history of emotional problems).

2. Passive Resources: history of negative or dysfunctional family, negative and unstable relationships between family members, poor attachment, parental conflict, parenting style, etc.

3. Poor or irresponsible social controls. Bad social management, corruption of facts about a situation, invading their identity, values and beliefs of adolescents.

4. Participation and/or inappropriate exposure of the adolescent to a process.

5. Absent and unstable network support.


Some factors promote a positive impact on the adolescent’s life during crises and traumatic events are:

1. Healthy Psychosocial Development (enriching experiences from an early age).

2. Responsible and controlled style of intervention.

3. Active, personal resources (positive coping style, auto-emotional regulation, hope, faith, self-love, forgiveness, acceptance, resilience -capacity to cope with life’s adversities, learn from them, overcome them and be transformed by them .)

4. Family and social support.


The implications in the adult life of a teenager who has been exposed to stressful situations and/or trauma can vary depending on the above-mentioned factors. That is, a teenager could become a strong, caring adult with a sense of appreciation and self-love of others and successful. It could also be an adult immersed in depression and anxiety that their resources were passive, negative and living in the past. Everything will depend on the perception, meaning and understanding given to the situation. When the teen accepts and assumes psychological responsibility of the experience and face positively the same is when we see an adult with assertiveness, grateful, brave, responsible and personal successes.

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