||This project uses structurating activity theory to understand the effect of traumatic experiences on family activity systems. Fourteen adults participated who had experienced an identifiable, acute traumatic event that resulted in a disruption to their family system. Interview data demonstrated ways that participants shaped trauma experiences and how trauma experiences shaped ongoing family activity. Results indicated that definitions of family are shaped by trauma experiences, that contradictions arise on a system and structural level during trauma, and families communicatively struggle to cope with trauma. Theoretical implications are offered on how mediating elements both enable and constrain how families cope during and after traumatic events on both the system and structural level. Finally, practical applications are recommended for professionals and families struggling through traumatic events, as well as future research directions.