It is important to understand the risk factors and resilience factors that contribute to psychological distress or to a sense of well-being in adolescents. This study focuses on life events and social support from an external-environmental aspect. The focus from an internal-personality aspect is on self-criticism and self-disclosure. In this study, 155 adolescents, ages 12-18 years, were divided into two groups. The experimental group included 70 adolescents requesting psychotherapy for emotional disorders. The control group included 85 adolescents without emotional disorders. Participants in the experimental group were followed up to the completion of six months of psychotherapy. Adolescents in the experimental group had undergone more negative life events and a significantly smaller number of positive life events compared to the control group [F(4, 143) = 9.77, p < 0.001, Eta2 =.22]. The experimental group was characterized by a diminished degree of social support compared to the control group [F(2, 144) = 7.27, p < 0.01, Eta2 =.09]. Regarding self-criticism and self-disclosure, no differences were found between the control and experimental groups [F(3, 148) = 2.18, p > 0.05, Eta2 =.04]. The prospective analysis following six months of psychotherapy indicated a significant improvement in distress variables reported by the parents but not by the subjects themselves, pointing to the importance of family intervention as part of adolescent psychotherapy. A decrease in the level of self-criticism after psychotherapeutic intervention was found [F(1, 18) = 4.41, p < 0.05, Eta2 =.20], altering self-criticism from a factor that needs to be neutralized to a factor that can be improved during psychotherapy.
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