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Nuttman-Shwartz (2019) Behavioral Responses in Youth

Bibliographic details:

Nuttman-Shwartz, (2019), Behavioral Responses in Youth Exposed to Natural Disasters and Political Conflict. Current Psychiatry Reports 21:42


Purpose of Review The aim of this review was to focus solely on youths’ behavioral responses to natural disasters and political conflicts in order to fully understand their impact and scope.

Recent Findings Recent studies in the field of trauma have shown that theoretical conceptions have moved away from a narrow focus on the individual and towards wider ecological perspectives and from a narrow focus on negative responses to trauma exposure towards positive prosocial responses. Although there is a distinction between youths’ behavioral responses towards natural disasters vs. towards political conflicts, in both of these adverse situations, behavioral responses exist alongside emotional responses.

Summary Adolescents exposed to either type of adverse scenario are often able to turn their negative experiences into positive ones, take greater responsibility for themselves and others, contribute to recovery processes, and engage in prosocial behaviors.

These responses must be investigated in the context of the trauma field’s recent understandings regarding psychological, biological, environmental, and cultural factors.