Phenomenology and psychological assessment of complex posttraumatic states

Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Journal of Traumatic Stress (Impact Factor: 2.72). 10/2005; 18(5):401-12. DOI: 10.1002/jts.20048
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The authors offer a framework for the assessment of psychological responses associated with exposure to early onset, multiple, or extended traumatic stressors. Six prominent and overlapping symptoms clusters are described: altered self-capacities, cognitive symptoms, mood disturbance, overdeveloped avoidance responses, somatoform distress, and posttraumatic stress. A strategy for the structured, psychometrically valid assessment of these outcomes is introduced, and specific recommendations for use of various generic and trauma-specific child and adult measures are provided. Implications of trauma assessment for treatment planning are discussed.

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