, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 161-180
Date: 11 Jan 2014

Trauma in Children and Adolescents: Issues Related to Age and Complex Traumatic Reactions

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Abstract

Accurate assessment is important to treatment selection, and following traumas is particularly important for children. Traumas may undermine a child’s developmental progression as well as emotional health and functioning. A number of developmental issues influence the nature and accurate assessment of traumatic reactions in children and adolescents. Youth reactions and reporting differ from those of adults, which suggest the need for diagnostic criteria and assessment measures specifically designed for varying developmental age groups. This introductory article discusses trauma-related developmental issues and the structure and nature of posttraumatic stress disorder now debated for adults and children. Also addressed are children’s complicated trauma-related disorders, which are still being tested and for which measures are newly developed or undergoing revision.