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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 114768 Find in a Library
Title: Children Traumatized by Catastrophic Situations (From Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Children, P 73-97, 1985, S Eth and R S Pynoos, eds.)
Author(s): C J Frederick
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 25
Sponsoring Agency: American Psychiatric Press, Inc
Washington, DC 20005
Sale Source: American Psychiatric Press, Inc
Journal Editor
1400 K Street, NW
Suite 1101
Washington, DC 20005
United States of America
Type: Literature Review
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter examines the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in a variety of traumatic and catastrophic situations, with particular focus on the reactions of child victims in natural and human-induced disasters, hostage-taking, child molestation, and physical assault.
Abstract: A review of the literature indicates a variety of psychological and behavioral short- and long-term effects. Short-term effects include sleep disorders, persistent thoughts of the trauma, belief that another trauma will occur, conduct disturbances, hyperalertness, avoidance of stimuli symbolic of the event, psychophysiological disturbances, and regression. Several studies have found long-term effects of trauma in both children and adults, including increases in mental illness, psychosomatic symptoms, spouse abuse, anxiety, and withdrawal. Depending upon the age of the child, various forms of therapeutic intervention are needed in times of crisis. Because children under stress may lack the verbal skills to express their fears and tensions, it is necessary to use nonverbal methods both to observe problems and treat them. Signs of PTSD may include sleep and conduct disturbances, separation anxiety, phobias, and self-doubts. Treatment techniques require a safe, supportive environment and may include coloring storybooks, structured or unstructured drawing, play therapy, group psychotherapy, and incident-specific treatment. Skills needed for intervening with child or adult victims of major emergencies include administrative skills and the ability to provide support, recognize emotional problems, and reactions, provide information, and develop skills of caregivers. 13 references.
Main Term(s): Post-trauma stress disorder (PTSD)
Index Term(s): Juvenile victims; Psychiatric services; Psychological victimization effects; Victim services
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