Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Children and Adolescents

  • Damion J. Grasso
  • Joan Kaufman
Part of the Current Clinical Psychiatry book series (CCPSY)


Roughly half of children and adolescents exposed to significant trauma develop PTSD, yet in many at-risk populations in which trauma exposure is known, PTSD is frequently under diagnosed. Most reliable identification of PTSD involves assessment of trauma exposure information and symptomatology from multiple informants. Over the past two decades, tremendous strides have been made in the assessment and behavioral treatment of PTSD in children and adolescents. More work, however, is needed to determine optimal pharmacological intervention strategies, as well as integrative treatment approaches that can address the wide range of challenges faced by families of children with PTSD. This chapter reviews the diagnostic history of PTSD, epidemiological data, state-of-the-art assessment instruments and techniques, risk factors, evidence-based treatments, and promising practices and innovations. An illustrative case example is also presented to highlight various aspects and challenges in the diagnosis and treatment of childhood PTSD.


Posttraumatic stress disorder Acute stress disorder Trauma exposure Child ­maltreatment Trauma-focused therapy 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Connecticut Health CenterFarmingtonUSA
  2. 2.Yale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA

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