Trauma and ResilienceIntroduction Whenone thinks of trauma and resilience, what comes to mind? Attitude, emotions,failure, hope, stress, health, family and relationship problems and the listcan go on. Determining the meaning of life is a key concept within the contextof positive psychology. Adolescents are trying to figure out life as far as towhat they want to accomplish, this refers to goals and motivation.
During youradolescent years, is when puberty hits hard and it is up to that individual tofight back. So as far as trauma and resilience goes in adolescents, let us takea closer look at what defines resilience, the principles and factors that makeresilience important, the programs that are in place for the adolescents group,the good and bad outcomes of the program that are put into place and researchthat has made this group stand out in the public eye. Bad things happen toeveryone, why? However, describing a psychological or mental health responsefollowing exposure to a traumatic event as a single, universal mechanism hasturned out to be an unachievable goal since there is no response to it.Moreover, it is apparent that there are individual differences in resilienceand risk factors that play a crucial role in response to potentially traumaticevent and prevent a description of a response to an event that would affectpeople uniformly. Definition and Principles of Resiliency Resiliency is broad when it comes to definitions meantthat they all are different in the eye of the beholder but leads up to the samemeaning. Resilient people are individuals who display “the capacity to remainwell, recover, or even thrive in face of adversity” (Hardy, Concato & Gill,2004, page 257). In studying resilience, there are not one but three critical conditions:growing up in distressing life conditions and demanding societal conditionsthat are considered significant threats or severe adversities, the availabilityof protective factors that include internal assets and external resources thatmay be associated with counteracting the effects of risk factors, and achievingthe positive adaptation despite experiences of significant adversity (Windle,2011). Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity,trauma, tragedy, threats of significant sources of stress – such as family andrelationship problems, serious health problems or workplace and financialstressors.
It means “bouncing back” from difficult experiences (AmericanPsychological Association, 2014). Basically, what this means is that instead ofletting failure overcome him or her and drown, they will find a way to rise andswim to the surface. Miracles happen but they do not happen overnight. It takestime and patience to see things through. The key word here is to “overcome” thehurt and pain from the trauma which they have suffered from.
Soldiers do notallow anything to hold them back from conquering what is in front of them;life. Humansdo not control the outcomes of their life, principles do. Although one does notcontrol the outcomes, they will become adept with predicting the outcomes ofhis or her behavior.
Looking at the principles of resilience, what comes tomind? Does one person apply them to their daily lives? There are sevenprinciples of resilience, which are:1. Maintain diversity andredundancya. Conserve and valueredundancyb. Maintain ecologicaldiversityc. Build diversity andredundancy into governance systemsd. Focus less on maximumefficiency, even if it costs more2. Manage connectivitya.
Map connectivityb. Identify important elementsand interactionsc. Restore connectivityd. Optimize currentconnectivity patterns3.
Manage slow variables andfeedbacksa. Strengthen feedbacks thatmaintain desirable regimesb. Avoid actions that obscurefeedbacksc. Monitor important slowvariablesd. Establish governancestructures that can respond to monitoring information4. Foster complex adaptivesystems thinkinga.
Investigate criticalthresholds and non-linearitiesb. Match institutions tosocial-ecological systems processesc. Recognize barriers tocognitive change5. Encourage learning a. How do we encouragelearning? i.
Ensure sufficient resources to enable learning process totake place ii. Enable people to network and create communities of practice iii. Engage a variety of participants6. Broaden participationa. How can we broadenparticipation? i. Clarify your goals and expectations of the participationprocess ii. Find inspired and motivated leaders that can mobilize thegroup iii.
Secure sufficient resources to enable effective participation7. Promote polycentricgovernancea. Polycentric governanceraises three challenges: i. The need to balance redundancy and experimentation with thecosts of involving members of multiple governance bodies and interests. ii. Negotiating trade-offs between various users of ecosystemservices iii. Dealing with resolving political conflict and the potentiallyskewed benefits of common resources, also so-called “scale-shopping” wheregroups dissatisfied with politics at one scale simply approach a more favourablepolitical venue in which to frame their interests (MindMatters, n.d.
). Adolescentsand the Challenges They Face Adolescents face many challenges along their period ofgrowth. During the intergenerational transmission stage of trauma, itapproaches more than one topic such as psychodynamic, family systems,epidemiological, sociological, and biological levels of analysis. Embittermentis a response to severe, but normative, stressful events that is different fromlife-threatening trauma that precedes posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A casestudy that was found to be very interesting when it comes to adolescents on thesubject of trauma and resiliency. Case StudyKianna was placed intoresidential treatment at age 14 following surrender of parental rights at age11, five foster placements, and psychiatric hospitalizations where she was diagnosedwith Bipolar Disorder, Dissociative Disorder, and Mild Mental Retardation.While living with her fourth foster family, she started cutting herself,threatening to kill herself, and running away.
Kianna alleged that this fosterfamily had physically abused her but this was ‘unfounded.’ Kianna was thenmoved into a pre-adoptive family. However, when she began getting intoscreaming ‘fights’ with her pre-adoptive mother, her county department ofsocial services placed Kianna into residential treatment based on her diagnosesand behavior problems. A few months later, her pre-adoptive family stoppedvisiting. . By age 16, with no viable family options for kinship care andKianna’s refusal to consider living in another foster family, the county socialservices department authorized a long-term goal of returning Kianna to hermother when she became a legal adult at age 18. Kianna began RLH treatment in her third year of residentialtreatment at age 16 in an effort to reduce her self-abusive and high riskbehaviors. Like many adolescents in group care, she functioned like a muchyounger child cognitively, socially and emotionally.
Kianna’s experiencesreflect the challenges of continuing trauma and attachment-centered treatmentwith severely and multiply stressed families and youth who have lived withdisrupted and often chaotic and disorganized attachments (Kagan & Spinazzola, 2013).Programs thathave been developed to Build Resiliency Currentresilience programs seeking to support student knowledge, skills, capacities tomanage life challenges and maintain mental wellbeing tend to be underpinned by manyoverlapping theoretical approaches. These includes:1.
Social and emotionallearninga. CASEL (Collaborative forAcademic, Social, and Emotional Learning) identifies 5 core social andemotional competencies for students to develop, which are: i. Self-awareness ii. Self-management iii. Social awareness iv.
Relationship skills v. Responsible decision-making 2. Cognitive behaviouralapproachesa. Focuses on interactionsbetween thoughts, feelings and behaviours3. Positive psychologya. Study of conditions andprocesses that contribute to the flourishing or optimal functioning of people,groups, and institutions (Gable & Hadt, 2005).4. Mindfulnessa.
the belief that by connectingwith the present moment and calmly observing our thoughts, feelings andsensations we increase our self-awareness and improve our capacity to manage ourthoughts and emotions (MindMatters, n.d.)Compare andContrast the Programs and Outcomes Noprogram is perfect and there are going to always be trial and error because noone individual is the same as the next. School-based programs can only do somuch for an adolescent because when he or she leaves that school for the day,they still have to go home and deal with the chaos. Anxiety, depression, and suicideshow peak emergence during the adolescent age as well as showing common riskfactors that many are not aware of. During the research phase for this paper, mindfulnessprogram kept popping up everywhere. Assuming that was a sign to discuss thistopic first. Mindfulness program is put in place as a prevention program foranxiety, depress, and eating disorders.
With thisprogram they authors suggested that further research be done when it came toidentifying active ingredients and optimal dose in mindfulness-basedinterventions in school settings. Society as to “teach” things to individualsbecause within these programs, these adolescents are primarily visual learners.It is important to consider the contribution of participant-specific variablesto the outcomes of studies with adolescents.
Research thatApplies to the Programs Socialsupport can mitigate the severity of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) inchildren and adults following traumatic events. However, little is known aboutthe role of social support in high-risk samples of adolescents from thecommunity. There was a study done that examined the relationship between socialsupport and PTSD in adolescents who were exposed to traumatic events andchildhood adversity, after adjusting for the effects of potential covariates,including sociodemographic factors, previous childhood adversity, level ofexposure, comorbid anxiety, depression symptoms, and substance abuse, andcoping strategies (Pinto, Morgado, Reis, Monteiro, Levendosky, & Jongenelen, 2017). In thisstudy, there were 183 adolescents who participated that ranged from 13 to 17years old.
There were 89 young men and 94 young women who were up forparticipating in a study so vivid. The results indicated that social support isnot as significant enough to reduce PTSD symptoms in adolescents who areexposed to trauma and adversity at a young age. They would need programs thatnot only focus on social support but programs that will give them a whole newperspective on life in generally.
An individual may need to see the proof inthe pudding to help them grow. Conclusion Thispaper endeavors to clarify the range of possible relationships between traumaand resilience among adolescents. Resilience requires both a risk factor andsome type of protective factor that reduces the negative impact of the riskfactor. Adolescents are more resilient if they have a safe and stable environment;have a strong bond to their family members, schools, and communities. The mostimportant key factor is to be able to develop age appropriate cognitive andsocial skills to function in their age bracket. Gaining a betterunderstanding of the principles, definitions, and programs of resilience inadolescents should help increase resilience in our youth and give themsomething to look forward to in their futures. Even though one approach may notwork for that one child in particular does not mean it will not work for thenext child. Trial and error is a very important part of growth as whole when itcomes to finding out why an individual is important.
Bad things happen toeveryone, why? Humans do not control the outcomes of their life, principles do.Although one does not control the outcomes, they will become adept withpredicting the outcomes of his or her behavior. Every human-being needsstructure as well as guidance to conquer whatever goals that he or she ismotivated to do. People always say, “When one door close, another one willopen; but we always seem to look at the door that is closed for so long that wedo not see the new door that is opened with new goals, opportunities, andhappiness.”