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Special Issue "Trauma, Coping, and Resilience in Adolescents"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Tara Powell
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Social Work, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA
Interests: natural disasters; complex emergencies; mental health; school-based mental health; trauma; cultural adaptation; intervention research
Dr. Kate M. Wegmann
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Social Work, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA
Interests: health, mental health, and achievement disparities; effects of discrimination; school-based mental health services; social-environmental determinants of health and mental health
Dr. Kevin Tan
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Social Work, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA
Interests: profiles of youth risk and protective factors; developmental patterns of risk behaviors; social-contextual influences on risk development; school social work effectiveness

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Adolescents affected by trauma are highly vulnerable to experiencing short- and long-term mental health difficulties, including post-traumatic stress, substance abuse and dependence, anxiety, and depression. Considering the increasing threat of trauma exposure due to conflict, natural disasters, terrorism, community violence, and school shootings, it is critical to understand how young people can remain resilient after these events. Chronic trauma due to factors such as poverty, discrimination, displacement, and other long-term stressors can also adversely affect adolescent mental health and development.

How a young person copes or responds to stressors influences their resilience or ability to overcome these events. While many trauma-exposed adolescents experience distress, only a subset will have sustained long-term psychopathology. Research has indicated factors that put a young person at risk for mental health symptoms can include low parental support, social isolation, poverty, exposure to discrimination, and pre-existing mental health symptoms, such as anxiety and depression. Conversely, protective factors such as peer social support, school and community connectedness, supportive parenting, problem solving, self-regulation skills, and perceived self-efficacy can buffer the psychological impact of a trauma. There is a growing field of empirical knowledge on risk and resilience among trauma-affected youth; however, research is still exploring best practices to mitigate the impact of trauma exposure on adolescents.

This Special Issue seeks to explore traumatic stress, coping, and resilience in adolescence. We welcome papers that address coping and resilience in adolescence and emerging adults, especially from health and social science perspectives. Of particular interest are empirical articles on topics examining coping, post-traumatic growth, and resilience. We are also interested in articles examining interventions designed to alleviate or reduce risk factors for long-term psychopathology in young people.

We look forward to receiving your contribution and creating a Special Issue that will provide readers with up-to-date insights into traumatic stress, coping, and resilience among adolescents from around the world.

Dr. Tara Powell
Dr. Kate M. Wegmann
Dr. Kevin Tan
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Traumatic stress
  • Coping
  • Risk and protective factors
  • Resilience
  • Mental health
  • Adolescents

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Article
Kidcope and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Understanding High School Students’ Coping and Emotional Well-Being
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(19), 10207; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph181910207 - 28 Sep 2021
Viewed by 335
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in social isolation, grief, and loss among many adolescents. As the pandemic continues to impact individuals and communities across the globe, it is critical to address the psychological well-being of youths. More studies are needed to understand the [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in social isolation, grief, and loss among many adolescents. As the pandemic continues to impact individuals and communities across the globe, it is critical to address the psychological well-being of youths. More studies are needed to understand the effective ways adolescents cope with pandemic-related psychological distress. In this study, 146 students from 1 high school in a U.S. midwestern state completed an adapted version of Kidcope, a widely used coping instrument in disaster research, and measures were taken on generalized distress and COVID-19-related worries. Findings indicated that most students experienced COVID-19-related fears and general emotional distress. Additionally, we found that disengagement coping strategies were associated with lower general distress (p ≤ 0.05) and COVID-19 worries (p ≤ 0.10). Active coping was not associated with general distress and COVID-19 worries. Overall, our findings highlight the need to develop tailored interventions targeting youth coping strategies to reduce and prevent emotional distress and amplify healthy coping skills as the pandemic persists. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Trauma, Coping, and Resilience in Adolescents)
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Article
Displacement, Violence, and Mental Health: Evidence from Rohingya Adolescents in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(10), 5318; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18105318 - 17 May 2021
Viewed by 609
Abstract
The Rohingya have endured generations of trauma through displacement and targeted violence in Myanmar. Hundreds of thousands have been forced out of the country, with a large proportion settling in refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. This study examines the impacts of exposure [...] Read more.
The Rohingya have endured generations of trauma through displacement and targeted violence in Myanmar. Hundreds of thousands have been forced out of the country, with a large proportion settling in refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. This study examines the impacts of exposure to trauma on mental health outcomes among Rohingya adolescents living in Bangladesh. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression are examined as outcomes. The main explanatory variable is a measure of exposure to trauma at two levels of proximity (experiencing and witnessing). Resilience is investigated as a potential effect modifier. Experiencing and witnessing traumatic events are positively and significantly associated with PTSD and depression. However, this effect is only seen for PTSD as a continuous measure, reflecting high rates of low-level PTSD in this population. Resilience is found to reduce the effects of trauma on depression, indicating an effect modification of this relationship. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Trauma, Coping, and Resilience in Adolescents)
Article
Prospective Interpersonal and Intrapersonal Predictors of Initiation and Cessation of Non-Suicidal Self-Injury among Chinese Adolescents
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(24), 9454; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17249454 - 17 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 714
Abstract
(1) Purpose: Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) possibly emerges as well as remits in adolescence. To explore the development and transition of NSSI, this study examined the association between a wide range of interpersonal and intrapersonal predictors of NSSI initiation and cessation. (2) Methods [...] Read more.
(1) Purpose: Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) possibly emerges as well as remits in adolescence. To explore the development and transition of NSSI, this study examined the association between a wide range of interpersonal and intrapersonal predictors of NSSI initiation and cessation. (2) Methods: Chinese adolescents (N = 913) completed self-reported surveys at baseline and at a six-month follow-up. The sample included 625 adolescents who reported no NSSI and 288 adolescents who reported engagement in NSSI at baseline. (3) Results: Among the adolescents without NSSI at baseline, 24.3% engaged in NSSI at follow-up (NSSI initiation group). Among the adolescents with NSSI at baseline, 33.3% reported no NSSI at follow-up (NSSI cessation group). Loneliness, beliefs about adversity, problem behavior, and prosocial behavior were the significant factors in predicting subsequent NSSI initiation. None of the potential predicting factors were associated with subsequent NSSI cessation. (4) Conclusions: These results indicate the importance of intrapersonal factors in Chinese culture, which could be used to identify at-risk adolescents and to design interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Trauma, Coping, and Resilience in Adolescents)

Review

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Review
Coping and Post-Traumatic Stress in Children and Adolescents after an Acute Onset Disaster: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(9), 4865; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18094865 - 03 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 859
Abstract
Acute onset disasters impact children’s and adolescents’ psychological well-being, often leading to mental health challenges. The way a young person copes with the event plays a significant role in development of post-disaster psychopathology. Coping has been widely studied after acute onset disasters, however, [...] Read more.
Acute onset disasters impact children’s and adolescents’ psychological well-being, often leading to mental health challenges. The way a young person copes with the event plays a significant role in development of post-disaster psychopathology. Coping has been widely studied after acute onset disasters, however, difficulties conducting research in post-disaster contexts and the individualized nature of coping make accurate assessment of coping a significant challenge. A systematic literature search of multiple databases and previous reviews was conducted, exploring scholarly documentation of coping measurement and the relationship between coping and post-traumatic stress (PTSS) symptoms after acute onset disasters. A total of 384 peer-reviewed manuscripts were identified, and 18 articles met the inclusion criteria and were included in the current review. The studies examined coping and post-traumatic stress in the wake of acute onset disasters such as terrorist events and natural disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and wildfires. Greater PTSS symptoms were related to internalizing, externalizing, rumination, and avoidant coping strategies. Coping measurement was constrained due to measurement variance, lack of developmentally and contextually vali-dated instruments, theoretical misalignment, and absence of comprehensive tools to assess coping. Robust and consistent measures of coping should be established to inform research and interventions to reduce the impact of disasters on children’s and adolescents’ well-being. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Trauma, Coping, and Resilience in Adolescents)
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Other

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Concept Paper
Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Resilience-Focussed Interventions: A Conceptual Analysis to Inform Future Research
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(14), 7315; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18147315 - 08 Jul 2021
Viewed by 740
Abstract
Internationally, the mental health of children and adolescents is undoubtedly an important construct of theoretical, clinical, and policy level concern. Worldwide, five mental disorders (depression, alcohol misuse, bipolar affective disorder, schizophrenia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder) represent half of the 10 leading causes of disability [...] Read more.
Internationally, the mental health of children and adolescents is undoubtedly an important construct of theoretical, clinical, and policy level concern. Worldwide, five mental disorders (depression, alcohol misuse, bipolar affective disorder, schizophrenia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder) represent half of the 10 leading causes of disability and premature death; with mental disorders accounting for 15–30% of disability adjusted life years in the first three decades of life. This provides a solid rational founded in implications for population health as to why reducing and preventing mental health problems in children and adolescents deserves attention. Past research has indicated interventions focussed on building resilience through strengthening protective factors may offer the potential to address mental health problems in children and adolescents, and in particular aid in reducing such problems during times of increased risk or adversity. With childhood and adolescence being critical periods of development, there is a need to reflect on the strengths and limitations of resilience-focussed interventions and anticipated future needs of the world’s youth. This conceptual analysis identifies a number of future research directions that may meaningfully add to the evidence base and improve implementation, evaluation, and impact of resilience-focussed interventions. These largely relate to refining the understanding of how resilience protective factors relate to mental health problems in children and adolescents. Important issues and potential opportunities to improve the related research field include improved reporting of intervention content; improved measurement of resilience protective factors in intervention trials; continued reporting and review of evidence of association between protective factors and mental health outcomes; and incorporation of mediation analysis within intervention trials. There is a need for further intervention studies in this space to be conducted as rigorous trials of resilience-focussed approaches based on such evidence of association, with clearly posited mechanisms of change, and inclusive of analysis of differential intervention effects. The suggested implications for research made in this conceptual analysis will aid in improving the quality of the evidence base relevant to the fostering of resilience and prevention of mental health problems in children and adolescents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Trauma, Coping, and Resilience in Adolescents)
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