This special section concerns itself primarily with individual instances of trauma in the developmental process of adolescence. However, to address broader cross-cultural and gender issues, one must also consider culturewide, potentially traumatic events that affect large segments of populations, and broad cultural attitudes and values that play a role in the nature and incidence of trauma and also influence the perception of and response to trauma. We must also note that, although our focus is on adolescents, just as in many other aspects of adolescence for which we might desire a cross-cultural perspective, there is a paucity of data pertaining specifically to that developmental stage. To gain any breadth of perspective, one must include information dealing with all age groups, in the hope that it will be helpful in throwing light on the adolescent experience.