The main aim of this paper is to summarize the most significant factors that can influence the impact of a natural disaster on children and adolescents. First, the principal psychological approaches are synthesized. Literature offers four models to explain the impact of a natural disaster on individual functioning: (1) homeostatic model; (2) transactional mode); (3) motivational perspective; (4) socio-cognitive theories). These models must be analysed together to better explain the effect of a natural disaster on the individual, family and social context. Starting with a definition of stress, we focused on the psychological processes involved and the specific effects on children's development. Several studies have found that unexpected and uncontrollable events can cause various physical and psychological problems in children and adolescents. We examined the relationship between the parents’ reactions and their children's well being. In general, the family can represent a functional protector system, but it is necessity to provide psychological support to help individuals cope with the distress caused by unpredictable natural disasters. Specific social support must be provided to promote both individual and family resilience.
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