Traumatic Stress and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Youth: Recent Research Findings on Clinical Impact, Assessment, and Treatment

Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, New York University, Brooklyn, New York. Electronic address: .
Journal of Adolescent Health (Impact Factor: 2.75). 02/2013; 52(2):137-143. DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2012.06.018
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Childhood trauma can have a profound effect on adolescent development, with a lifelong impact on physical and mental health and development. Through a review of current research on the impact of traumatic stress on adolescence, this article provides a framework for adolescent health professionals in pediatrics and primary care to understand and assess the sequelae of traumatic stress, as well as up-to-date recommendations for evidence-based treatment. We first review empirical evidence for critical windows of neurobiological impact of traumatic stress, and then we discuss the connection between these neurobiological effects and posttraumatic syndromes, including posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, aggressive behavior, and psychosis. This article concludes by considering the implications of this current research for clinical assessment and treatment in pediatric and primary care settings.

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