Bestselling Popular Adolescent Psychology in 2020
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Adolescent Counselling Psychology: Theory, Research and Practice
The Adolescent: Development, Relationships, and Culture (13th Edition)
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CBT Toolbox for Children and Adolescents: Over 200 Worksheets & Exercises for Trauma, ADHD, Autism, Anxiety, Depression & Conduct Disorders
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Adolescent Psychology and Depression Following Terrorist Attacks
Social support seems to be the answer for adolescents caught in an area of imminent danger from terrorist attacks, a study says.
In their report, which is presented in the upcoming issue of American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, they found that, after studying middle school students in the town of Sderot, Israel, who were subjected to daily rocket attacks, a social support structure of family, friends and school could become a psychological buffer against depression in the face of constant trauma.
Shahar and Henrich state: "These findings highlight the potential importance of community mental health efforts as protective resources in times of traumatic stress."
The authors suggest further research in order to ascertain the extent to which support actually works for the individuals involved.
Shahar and Henrich have collaborated on projects for eight years and have published 10 joint papers together.
Why Is This Important?
Adolescent psychology may be the most important specialization in the field of psychology with the exception of child psychology. It is during the brief period of adolescence that the human body goes through a myriad of physiological and psychological changes. Some psychologists believe that it is during this period that an individual's core belief system is developed, a set of ideas and notions -- a mindset -- that governs a person's actions without much relative alteration throughout the rest of their lives. The emotional and psychological changes during this period -- some of which are a result of physiological changes, or lack thereof, while others are not -- are also why prominent researchers in the field have sectioned adolescence off as its own stage of development.
Shahar and Henrich's research becomes important on the merits of what it can add to the information about trauma visited upon adolescents, how it concerns depression-related incidences, and how it may be able to be applied to various other fields of study. Adolescent depression coping mechanisms in an area that is under constant rocket and/or terrorist attack might well be applied to areas where, for instance, gang-related activity results in shootings and acts of physical violence on a continual basis. They are not exactly the same, but the models for coping might work in both instances.
Research in this area could have many applications, from helping curtail or alleviate Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in patients to helping prepare social populations in times of war or impending war.
What Is Needed
The researchers agreed that more study is necessary to gauge long-term effects of the trauma and the effectiveness of support mechanisms over the years. But the research presented is promising in that it does suggest that parents, peers, and the victims' social network all play an important role in a child's mental well-being, especially in an environment where the stress of constant trauma is prevalent.
Adolescents, like most everyone, need reassurance. Not only affirmation as to their abilities to get through a particular trying incident or series of incidents, but also reinforcing their perspective that they are relatively secure, that they are not alone, and that the people and things they are familiar with will be there in case anything untoward might happen. Above all else, adolescents, like many others, need mental reassurance that they will be alright. Parents, caretakers, and persons of authority need to be cognizant of that fact.
Adolescence already is a time of individual uncertainty. Adding physical danger compounds the issue and could result in problematic psychological conditions in the future. Although it is not a good idea to sell your children on a fantasy of unrealistic well-being or safety, practical kindnesses, reassurances of love and security, and providing them with a stable environment in their unstable world could go a long way in thwarting depression and other conditions.
Shahar and Henrich's have made several contributions to advancing adolescent psychology. Their joint papers have covered the role of stress, risk and resilience in the development of children and adolescents.