Trauma-Informed Family Practices: Toward Integrated and Evidence-Based Approaches
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Families are a primary context in which children and adolescents exposed to adverse experiences and traumatic stress receive care and support. However, families are relatively under-studied in the literature on trauma-informed practice (TIP). Extant research on family-focused TIPs emphasizes distinct conceptual approaches and is characterized by methodological limitations. To better understand how TIPs can optimize family health and well-being, we discuss the need for more integrated and evidence-based approaches, and summarize four key conceptual and methodological issues: (1) adopting a multilevel approach to TIP; (2) adapting evidence-based family interventions to TIP; (3) accounting for complexity in family systems; and (4) incorporating longitudinal, mixed-method designs into research on family TIPs. We integrate this discussion with examples of existing family-based practices, and conclude with a summary of potential directions for future research.
KeywordsTrauma-informed practice Traumatic stress Families Youth development Risk prevention Health promotion
The authors are grateful for comments from Amy Heberle, Erin Hoffman, and Caitlin O’Brien on the manuscript. The preparation of this paper was supported, in part, by a National Institute on Drug Abuse T32 postdoctoral research training fellowship (T32DA019426; Tebes, PI) and with support from the Thomas Scattergood Foundation.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
Statement of human rights
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Statement on the welfare of animals
This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.
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