Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma

, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 339–360

Understanding and Assessing Traumatic Responses of Guilt, Shame, and Anger among Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults


DOI: 10.1080/19361521.2011.623146

Cite this article as:
Fletcher, K.E. Journ Child Adol Trauma (2011) 4: 339. doi:10.1080/19361521.2011.623146


Most individuals exposed to traumatic events do not develop long-term adverse outcomes such as PTSD or depression. Evidence is accumulating that feelings of guilt, shame, or anger that develop in reaction to the traumatic experience both during and after the event can play an important role in posttraumatic adjustment. What role these feelings might play as traumatic reactions, especially among children, adolescents, and young adults is discussed. Developmental and gender differences are considered. Issues surrounding assessment and available measurement tools are described in detail.


shameguiltangertraumachildrenadolescentssexual abuseposttrauma outcomes

Copyright information

© Taylor & Francis Group, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Mental Health Services ResearchUniversity of Massachusetts Medical SchoolWorcesterUSA