Post-Traumatic Syndromes in Childhood and Adolescence: A Handbook of Research and Practice

Post-Traumatic Syndromes in Childhood and Adolescence: A Handbook of Research and Practice

Post-Traumatic Syndromes in Childhood and Adolescence: A Handbook of Research and Practice

Post-Traumatic Syndromes in Childhood and Adolescence: A Handbook of Research and Practice

Synopsis

This book offers a comprehensive overview of up-to-date research and intervention techniques for traumatized youth highlighting uncharted territories in the field of developmental trauma and related post-traumatic reactions.
  • One of the few titles to provide a critical and comprehensive framework which focuses specifically on post-traumatic syndromes in children and adolescents
  • Presents the implications of PTSD in other settings (such as school and family) that are not fully addressed in other works
  • International range of contributors, such as David Foy, Julian Ford, Jennifer Freyd, Giovanni Liotti, and Brigitte Lueger-Schuster, bring perspectives from both Europe and North America
  • An essential resource for both researchers and practitioners

Excerpt

Trauma exposure is a significant mental health concern that impacts on children and adolescents in complex ways (Harris, Putnam, & Fairbank, 2006). Younger victims of extreme stress can be seriously affected by the overwhelming challenge of trauma and thus may enter the world with limited cognitive, affective, and behavioral baggage resulting in a spectrum of post-traumatic outcomes. It is commonly understood that youth display a wide range of post-traumatic reactions, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) a controversial and yet considerably investigated disorder that may follow a traumatizing experience.

PTSD was formally included in the list of psychiatric disorders in 1980 with the publication of DSM-III (American Psychological Association (APA), 1980) and the identification of a triadic cluster of symptoms (reexperiencing, avoidance, and hyperarousal) documented in Vietnam veterans and in rape victims (Perrin, Smith, & Yule, 2000), and later applied to adult civilians.

The first mention of PTSD in children and adolescents had already appeared in the early years of the twentieth century (Saigh & Bremner, 1998); yet decades of studies have demonstrated that children can develop PTSD along with other post-traumatic syndromes. In 1976, Leonore Terr conducted a seminal study on children’s reactions to trauma prior to the publication of DSM-III. In that year, 26 schoolchildren and their bus driver living in Chowchilla, California, were kidnapped and buried alive in a van for a long period of time before escaping. Terr’s important work established that traumatized children exhibited a unique constellation of signs and symptoms in order to master their experience (Terr, 1979). Next, the revised version of DSM-III clarified that the diagnosis of PTSD was applicable to children who had “experienced an event outside the range of usual human experience … that would be markedly distressing to almost anyone” (DSM-III-R; APA, 1987).

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