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Can you explain the effects of trauma on children and young people outlining the similarities and differences between the two groups?


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Trauma refers to any deeply distressing or disturbing event.  Trauma takes many shapes, from intentional abuse to unavoidable traumas like the death of a loved one.  Trauma can have long-lasting effects including impacts on both physical health and mental health.  Because of the differences in personality acquisition and perceived and real differences in helplessness and power, one might anticipate that trauma would impact children differently than it impacts young people. 

For example, children who experience trauma are more likely to experience learning problems.  Kids experiencing trauma may have lower grades and behavior problems in school.  They are more likely than other kids to need health and mental health services, though they may not have the ability to access those needed resources.  Children who experience trauma are more likely to be involved with social services and with the juvenile justice system.  In addition, childhood trauma makes it more likely that people will experience diabetes, heart disease, and substance abuse disorders as adults.

Young adults who experience trauma may not have the same lifelong impact of trauma as children.  The older people are, the more likely they are to be able to appropriately process trauma.  Of course, some of that depends on the individual history of a person and whether they have previously learned the skills necessary to process trauma.  Both children and adults may need ongoing support to deal with traumatic events.  Moreover, children who experienced unresolved childhood trauma may be more impacted by trauma as young adults than other children

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