Children and trauma: Report of the Task Force on Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and Trauma in Children and Adolescents

We live in an era in which many children, adolescents and their families in American society are exposed to traumatic life events. Mental health professionals are, of course, deeply concerned about the impact of traumatic exposure on children and how these children and their families can best be helped.

The Task Force on Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and Trauma in Children and Adolescents is a presidential initiative of 2008 APA President Alan E. Kazdin, PhD. The primary goals of the task force are to identify “what we know” and “what we need to know” regarding the development and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in youth and to present current knowledge and information, as well critical gaps in knowledge, about this important area.

APA is proud to offer the following resources for mental health professionals and policymakers courtesy of the 2008 Presidential Task Force on PTSD and Trauma in Children and Adolescents:

Children and Trauma: Update for Mental Health Professionals

This 16-page booklet provides a brief overview for mental health professionals on:

  • What we know about PTSD and trauma in children and adolescents

  • How you can help children, adolescents and their families cope and recover from trauma

  •  What we still need to learn about the complexities of PTSD and trauma

  • Additional resources for professionals

Children and Trauma: Tips for Mental Health Professionals

This tip sheet serves as a practical guide for professionals on:

  • Basic information every mental health professional should know about PTSD and trauma in children and adolescents

  • How to identify PTSD and/or trauma and provide care to children, adolescents and their families

  • Pitfalls to avoid when you encounter trauma and PTSD in children and adolescents

 
APA Presidential Task Force on Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and Trauma in Children & Adolescents (PDF, 320 KB)

Overview and tips for mental health professionals in presentation format. Please credit APA when using this content.

Policy Briefing Sheet: Trauma and PTSD in Children and Adolescents (PDF, 65 KB)

This policy briefing sheet serves as a functional guide for policymakers on the following:

  • Impact of exposure to trauma on children and adolescents

  • Best approach to policymaking that will improve outcomes for youth exposed to trauma

  • Recommendations in the areas of research, practice, education and training