Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review

, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 135–154

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Children and Adolescents: A Review and Analysis

  • Lori Davis
  • Lawrence J. Siegel

DOI: 10.1023/A:1009564724720

Cite this article as:
Davis, L. & Siegel, L.J. Clin Child Fam Psychol Rev (2000) 3: 135. doi:10.1023/A:1009564724720


Only recently has the mental health community recognized the applicability of diagnostic criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in children and adolescents, including a consideration of specific age-related features. This paper provides a current review of the literature on PTSD pertaining to children and adolescents. Following a discussion of issues on diagnostic criteria and assessment of this affective disorder in this population, there is an overview of the existing literature on prevalence, comorbidity, risk factors, parental and family factors, and issues of gender and age of onset. The remainder of the paper focuses on the range of traumatic stressors in children and adolescents that can result in PTSD, including natural or human disasters, war and violence, chronic or life-threatening medical conditions, community violence and the witnessing of traumatic events, and physical and/or sexual abuse and other forms of interpersonal violence. Throughout the paper, there is an emphasis on the importance of considering developmental factors. Finally, implications of the existing literature for future areas of research are addressed.

posttraumatic stress disorder PTSD trauma children adolescents 

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lori Davis
    • 1
  • Lawrence J. Siegel
    • 1
  1. 1.Ferkauf Graduate School of PsychologyYeshiva UniversityUSA

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