(1.) Relationships: The student will be more vulnerable to stress, have difficulty forming healthy attachments, struggle with forming strong supportive relationships, have trouble expressing their emotions or expressing their emotions appropriately, and may have trouble dealing with romantic relationships, friendships, or authority figures.
(2.) Physical Health: The student may respond to stress with physical reactivity such as rapid breathing, heart pounding, or the student may "shut down" in a stressful situation. These are seen as "overreacting" or being unresponsive/detached. Students may also have frequent headaches or stomachaches, and as they get older they may engage in more risky behaviors like substance abuse or poor diet and exercise habits. Students may also display a hypersensitivity to sound, smells, touch, or light, as well as show an unawareness of physical sensations. Students might complain about chronic pain that can't be found, or show signs of injuring themselves without feeling pain.
(3.) Emotional: Students will have difficulty managing their emotions, having never learned how to calm themselves down once they are upset, and can be easily overwhelmed. They may give up on small tasks in school, be constantly fearful, and may experience depression.
(4.) Dissociation: Students might have a defense mechanism where they "space out" or daydream as a way of mentally separating themselves from a stressful situation.
(5.) Behavior: The student may engage in high-risk behaviors, illegal activities, substance abuse, stealing, running away, prostitution, assaulting others, and end up entering the juvenile justice system.
(6.) Thinking and Learning: Students will show difficulty thinking clearly, reasoning, or problem-solving. They will struggle with planning ahead and taking rational actions, as well as struggle to learn new skills or absorb new information. They will also show deficits in language development and abstract reasoning skills. These students may require learning support in their school environment.
(7.) Self-Concept: Students will view their self as powerless, and be easily guilty, have low self-esteem, and poor self image among their peers. They have trouble feeling hopeful, and tend to live moment to moment as opposed to thinking about the future.
(8.) Long-term Health: Students who have experienced complex trauma will later be more likely to be engaged in high risk behaviors as adults, and have chronic illnesses such as heart disease and cancer.