Essay Example on How Traumatic Experiences Impact Academic Performance

Published: 2023-01-13
Essay Example on How Traumatic Experiences Impact Academic Performance
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Education Students Stress Personal experience
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 1058 words
9 min read


Trauma is a psychological or cognitive condition or damage to the mind that happens s a result if stress and depression. According to the American Psychological Association, trauma is overwhelming stress that exceeds an individual's ability to integrate emotion. It majorly results in single or recurrent negative consequences that deter people from conducting daily activities. The American Psychological Association further affirms that traumatic experiences frequently established during childhood often diminishes memory affecting individuals' concentration, language ability and organization, which prevents prompt, adequate academic performance (Morton, 2018). For instance, unmanaged stress and traumatic experiences among children frequently leads to anti-social behaviors and difficulty in academic progress. Major school activities such as reading, writing, solving complex mathematical and scientific problems fundamentally depend on the individuals' concentration, memory, comprehension, retention and reflection, and engagement in learning which are often affected by traumatic experiences.

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Further, since the ability to regulate emotions, attention, and behavior are prerequisites to school and academic achievement, traumatic experiences from overwhelming stress substantially disturbs students' cognitive development, which is the foundation of learning. Extensive traumatic experiences undermine an individual's ability to properly develop communicative skills, establish language and coherent of self (Larson et al., 2017). Traumatic experiences not only influence and promote negative behavior such as withdrawals but also negatively affects academic performance. Also, traumatic experiences interfere with an individual's creativity, vital in learning how to cope with prevalent social or academic problems. It inhibits the ability to attend to instructions and organization of new information hindering grasping the relationship between the cause and effect that are the basic foundation of learning. Hence if not attended to in earlier stages, traumatic experiences could extremely render an individual unable to excel in any academic activity.

Mindfulness and how to help students deal with stress

The frightening, confusing, and intense emotion that follows a traumatic event often leaves children and adolescents very vulnerable, which may result in numerous anti-social behaviors like withdrawals and to an extreme, poor academic performance (Leonard et al., 2015). Unlike adults that often adapt to the post-traumatic experiences and situation, children and adolescents require adequate support and reassurance to enable them to recover from traumatic events such as the death of a loved one to restore their trust and regain emotional balance in their contemporary environment. For example, whether at school or home, children need reassurance and safety which both parent, guardians and teachers can easily foster through enough engaging the traumatized individuals to enable them to express their hidden pain, sorrow, and torment. Providing a safe and accommodating environment while propelling small talks to prevents the victims from being consumed in their thought is vital to help the children manage the adverse conditions and vulnerability caused by traumatic events.

Additionally, being strong and promoting positive thought and giving children suffering from traumatic experiences choices and always being available to give counseling advice and recommendation immensely empower the trauma victims to see the light and importance of letting go of the painful past. Being honest, engaging the children in physical activities and having transparent communication that allows the victims to express themselves as the teacher, parent, guardian or counselor listens to the child's experiences, and feelings constructively propel a healing process. For example, encouraging physical activities like sports the traumatized child prefer such as football, basketball, or swimming can aid in arousing the child's nervous system and makes the victim feel energetic. Also, through rebuilding trust and safety at home, which trauma alters making the victims have a negative perception and worldview, depicting the world as a cruel, dangerous and frightening place is vital in restoring the victim's sense of identity, belonging and security (First et al., 2018). Developing a predictable routine structure for the adolescents' life also could help in promoting a stable and trustworthy world. Nevertheless, it is vital for concerned parties to ensure adequate treatments for the traumatic experiences to avoid jeopardizing a child's life and development.

Fostering healthy relationships

The increased vulnerability among victims of trauma requires adequate positive relationship and a healthy environment devoid of stress, discrimination, isolation, or marginalization (O'Brien, 2018). Despite the adverse impacts of trauma which often interferes and alters an individual's perception of the world, relationship with people and adamantly accustom to withdrawals, it is vital that people surrounding the victim provides a positive and conducive environment that encourages the expression of one's feelings, moods and thoughts rather than hindering and inhibiting communication. Childhood trauma has a long-term effect and consequences that alter the understanding of an individual's self-image, esteem, and knowledge, which massively continues to adulthood, resulting in negative repercussion and disruptions. Fostering positive and healthy relationship during the early stages of trauma during childhood is important in empowering the victims to deal and manage their condition to regain independence while engaging the social arena rather than hiding and withdrawing. Through prompt social therapy facilitated by content engagement and optimistic relationship (Wilkinson, 2016). As affirmed by Dr. Graham, an American psychologist, the human is social being that relies on attachments and emotional bonds to facilitate a sense of security and belonging, which is molded during childhood. Therefore, through propelling positive interaction that eliminates distress is important and vital for victims of trauma not only as an immediate healing process but for adulthood stability.


Morton, B. M. (2018). The grip of trauma: How trauma disrupts the academic aspirations of foster youth. Child abuse & neglect, 75, 73-81.

Larson, S., Chapman, S., Spetz, J., & Brindis, C. D. (2017). Chronic Childhood Trauma, Mental Health, Academic Achievement, and SchoolBased Health Center, Mental Health Services. Journal of school health, 87(9), 675-686.

Leonard, N. R., Gwadz, M. V., Ritchie, A., Linick, J. L., Cleland, C. M., Elliott, L., & Grethel, M. (2015). A multi-method exploratory study of stress, coping, and substance use among high school youth in private schools. Frontiers in psychology, 6, 1028.

First, J., First, N. L., & Houston, J. B. (2018). Resilience and coping intervention (RCI): A group intervention to foster college student resilience. Social Work with Groups, 41(3), 198-210.

O'Brien, J. E. (2018). "Sometimes, Somebody Just Needs Somebody-Anybody-to Care:" The power of interpersonal relationships in the lives of domestic minor sex trafficking survivors. Child abuse & neglect, 81, 1-11.

Wilkinson, I. G. (2016). Why some children come to school with "Baggage": The effects of Trauma due to poverty, attachment disruption, and disconnection on social skills and relationships. Canadian Journal of Family and Youth/Le Journal Canadien de Famille et de la Jeunesse, 8(1), 173-203.

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