Acute Stress, Depression, and Anxiety Symptoms Among English and Spanish Speaking Children with Recent Trauma Exposure

  • Beth A. Barber
  • Krista L. Kohl
  • Nancy Kassam-Adams
  • Jeffrey I. Gold
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10880-013-9382-z

Cite this article as:
Barber, B.A., Kohl, K.L., Kassam-Adams, N. et al. J Clin Psychol Med Settings (2014) 21: 66. doi:10.1007/s10880-013-9382-z

Abstract

A growing literature suggests the clinical importance of acute stress disorder symptoms in youth following potentially traumatic events. A multisite sample of English and Spanish speaking children and adolescents (N = 479) between the ages of 8–17, along with their caregivers completed interviews and self-report questionnaires between 2 days and 1 month following the event. The results indicate that children with greater total acute stress symptoms reported greater depressive (r = .41, p < .01) and anxiety symptoms (r = .53, p < .01). Examining specific acute stress subscales, reexperiencing was correlated with anxiety (r = .47, p < .01) and arousal was correlated with depression (r = .50, p < .01) and anxiety (r = .55, p < .01). Age was inversely associated with total acute stress symptoms (r = −.24, p < .01), reexperiencing (r = −.17, p < .01), avoidance (r = −.27, p < .01), and arousal (r = −.19, p < .01) and gender was related to total anxiety symptoms (Spearman’s ρ = .17, p < .01). The current study supports the importance of screening acute stress symptoms and other mental health outcomes following a potentially traumatic event in children and adolescents. Early screening may enable clinicians to identify and acutely intervene to support children’s psychological and physical recovery.

Keywords

Children Acute stress Depression Anxiety Trauma 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Beth A. Barber
    • 1
  • Krista L. Kohl
    • 1
  • Nancy Kassam-Adams
    • 2
  • Jeffrey I. Gold
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.The USC University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at Children’s Hospital Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Department of Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Perelman School of MedicineUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Keck School of MedicineUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  4. 4.Departments of Anesthesiology and PediatricsChildren’s Hospital Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  5. 5.Department of PediatricsChildren’s Hospital Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

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