Hi, in this video we will try to learn which are the changes that usually happen in teenagers and how this changes affect their daily stress level, and this topic is very important because when a teenager has to face a critical incident we must understand that it is another problem added to the stress level he usually has, what has just happened to him, this critical incident will confound him even more and scares him. So understanding which are the facts that usually difficult a teenager's life will allow us to adapt the way of helping him when he has to face a hard and traumatic situation. Let's begin with defining and distinguishing adolescence from puberty. Adolescence is the stage in which someone goes from infancy when he was a child to adulthood, it goes on for approximately 10 years and in this stage as we will now see the teenager will make many adjustments and changes that will affect his life. Instead, puberty refers only to the much shorter period, which lasts two or three years, in which sex organs mature. In our field usually this happens with boys between 11 and 14 years old and girls from 10 to 13 years old. Now we've differentiated the concepts we will try to understand which are the pressures to which both life and us as adults subject teenagers. First there's the academic demand level, the puberty's hormonal changes stage plus all the process we will describe about personality changes coincide with a moment in which students, boys and girls which are in the school begin being demanded a bigger performance and a bigger determination in their performance. We require them to invest in a future which they find uncertain and we keep telling them it's important that they are aware of how vital their studies are in that moment because the studies in this stage will determine their future. But these variables that are so important for adults, aren't so important for teenagers. In this stage, due to the hormonal growth changes, many changes happen in their bodies. Teenagers usually walk clumsy, they usually have certain movement coordination problems and this is related to the fact they aren't still comfortable with their bodies, a fast growth has happened, changes are happening, their external sex organs are developing and this makes them feel as strangers in their own body. This fact, which is totally adaptive and normal in adolescence, generates self-esteem problems in themselves, which is another stress problem. It gives them self-esteem problems because for a teenager the external image is one of the most important things. But self-esteem problems are also related to all the pressures and changes we are describing, so it is a phenomenon which somehow feeds itself back, a nightmare, a vicious circle because there are changes and stress problems and they affect self-esteem, but as self-esteem is also low it is harder to face stressing factors. Then there's the fourth stage in which teenagers define another way of facing life. If until 12 years old or until the beginning of the pre-adolescence and even a bit earlier boys and girls have tried to make what we adults want them to and we have suggested them to try to learn how to make things, now they must find their own ways, their own values, their own variables which regulate their behaviors. And how do they do this discovery of how am I, of how do I want to do things? Well, the first way is opposing to what adults have taught them, which usually means they oppose to parents, some relatives and teachers. They try out different ways and see where they are taking them, to the end of adolescence which is when in these opposition tryouts teenagers keep a part of the knowledges we've given them and discard others, because this is their way of finding their own personality, to build their own values world and their own way of driving themselves. But this opposition stage is usually exhausting for both parts. "Help, my son is a teenager" some parents say, and that's true because opposition is made to almost everything and adults have the feeling that, no matter what we do, our teenager son or daughter will protest. This fact, which is evolving and adaptive, helps building their personality. But when teenagers and adults share the presence of a traumatic fact, of a critical incident, it will difficult both parts, that is, youngsters and adults, in its management. That's why it's important that you understand that this opposition is previous to any critical incident. And finally it's important that you understand that during adolescence the group of friends is the absolute reference for teenagers. This means that finding their position inside the group, trying to adopt a role inside it are totally priority aspects for teenagers and in these socialization processes in which all their friends are making the same change process there is a lot of tension, which is important because there is a lot of it and because the friends group is the reference, it's the scale and the mirror adolescence looks at. So we will never be able to consider any kind of intervention with teenagers without evaluating and giving a role to their friends group, their friends, the people with which he spends his free time. Synthesizing, in a totally daily situation teenagers must face five important challenges which difficult a lot their daily management. First they must adapt to their physical changes, their body registers some changes and they must understand them, accept them and adapt to them. Secondly they begin building the personality they will have as adults, which means they leave what they learned as kids behind, the values and behaviors adults modeled and explore alternative ways which will end up building their own personality. To do so, and in third place, they will question all the values, all the rules and all the advices adults, relatives and teachers have been giving them up to this moment. This process creates on one side tension and on the other side a lot of uncertainty. In fourth place they're setting up their identity in the group as a man, as a woman, as a student, as an athlete, with all the different identities they will have as adults, and to do so they compete against other people with their same age which are making the same process. And finally they must begin thinking of their labor future, during this stage full of changes and uncertainty, they maybe don't need an absolute conclusion but at least they need a direction, will they go to the university, do they prefer handiworks, do they want to work with the nature? A series of questions which will also be affected by a political and economical situation all adults will tell them is very complex and in which they must make big efforts. Let's now see what happens to a teenager which, in the middle of this hard stage I just characterized, also needs to face a critical incident. What this critical incident first shows him is that any moment people can lose control on their own lives. Until they find a critical incident, the teenager who is trying to adapt to the adult stage or to grow up, thinks that if he makes efforts, if he is well-behaved and more or less organized probably things will be good for him. But this critical incident shows him that even if he is trying to make things as good as he can, sometimes life makes a big red mark on the white paper we are writing on and we must begin again. And if this is hard for adults, it's hardly bearable for teenagers. But also, he will deal with this critical incident he must face in an hormonal changes moment, so due to biological facts he will already find it hard to regulate his own emotions. He does it in a moment of opposition to adults, so when he tries to rely on them, their relationships won't always flow, sometimes because of the adults and usually because of the own questions the teenager was considering and which now make him feel strange. Can he still shelter on mum's arms? Maybe he's too grown up to do that. And with this I'm only quoting an anecdote, but this anecdote illustrates the teenagers' hard position in that moment, because they live in a fight, in a questioning of anything adults say. In the moment of the incident it difficults the safety adults can give them. But not everything is a problem, adolescence is a huge pro-sociability stage, which means that when a teenager faces a critical incident he will have all his friends' support and solidarity. Even from most of his schoolmates which, despite not being close friends, will be supporting him. This capacity of helping each other is a huge protector and we're lucky to have it because everything is hard enough. It's important to make clear that in some cases a critical incident may provoke the apparition of a mental disorder. But it's important that, if this happens, it's an unchaining. Which means that a teenager with a vulnerability, with precedents, with previous problems, confronting a critical incident unchains this mental disorder earlier than if the critical incident didn't happen. But what we must understand perfectly is that critical incidents don't generate mental disorders, even during the adolescence. Although they hasten them. To sum up, as a conclusion of the portrait of the adolescence stage I just made we must have a main idea clear: Teenagers in this stage are experiencing deep changes, and these changes provoke feelings of lack of control on them and sometimes they actually cause a certain loss of control on their own behavior and mostly on their emotions' adjustment. These two factors, changes and lack of control, generate a bigger risk chance. All this in a normal, daily situation in the adolescence. If in this state teenagers must confront a critical incident, the vulnerability and risk situation increases and so, we will need to maximize all the supporting and monitoring features on teenagers. And not only theirs, we will also have to involve their friends and adults in this process. Because what I just said has implications for the teenagers' family. In this moment, the teenagers' family must accept that they aren't the only ones that will help them and that our teenager son or daughter's friends will also be there with them. And this is good and we must allow this. But it also has implications for school, because being aware that the friends group has a protective value, such a crucial support in school during adolescence, the institute must get involved in supporting a teenager that is passing through a critical incident, because this way it generates the frame and the chances that the equals group helps its classmate. And finally, we must also have clear the fact that, to help this equals group taking this role, being able to help and be supportive it needs us to take it into account, to give it information, to give it some guidelines on what they can do for the affected classmate or classmates and mostly it needs us to appreciate it and take it as another component of the teenager's accompaniment process.