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Trauma can alter the course of identity development and destabilize existing identity commitments. Trauma, whether past or current, can also impact the resources a person brings to identity work. However, identity can also be a lens through which trauma is perceived and interpreted, helping to determine whether a traumatic experience results in posttraumatic stress disorder or posttraumatic growth. Despite the apparent implications each construct has for the other, the scholarship at the intersection of trauma and identity remains sparse. This Special Issue explores how and when trauma and identity influence one another by considering their association across various adolescent populations, methodologies, traumatic event types, and facets of identity. In doing so, this Special Issue lays the groundwork necessary for exploring, proposing, and testing more complex and nuanced reciprocal relations models between identity and trauma.


Originally published in Journal of Adolescence. 2020. Volume 79. Pages 275-278.