Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Childhood and Adolescence: A Developmental Psychopathology Perspective

Patricia K. Kerig

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With the publication of the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), and the recent release of the draft diagnostic criteria to be used in the forthcoming International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), students, researchers, and clinicians are in need of an authoritative and practical guide to understanding the diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in childhood and adolescence. This is particularly the case given that, other than designating a separate diagnosis with a smaller number of symptoms for preschoolers, these new diagnostic compendia provide little information regarding developmental differences in the onset, expression, and course of the disorder.

Child and adolescent mental health professionals—whether they are students in training, practitioners, or scientists—will benefit from this book’s summaries of the available research on PTSD in young persons, descriptions of how the expression and consequences of PTSD might change across developmental periods, and suggested strategies for differential diagnosis between PTSD and other disruptive behavioral and emotional disorders that present with overlapping symptoms across childhood and adolescence. The author also discusses cutting-edge issues, such as the constructs of posttraumatic growth and resilience, and summarizes the evidence base for treatments focused on alleviating PTSD in young persons through interventions targeting the individual youth, the family, and their larger ecological contexts.

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Patricia K. Kerig

Patricia K. Kerig received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of California at Berkeley with a specialization in children and families and currently is a professor and the director of clinical training in the Department of Psychology at the University of Utah. She is an author of over a hundred books, chapters, scientific papers, was named the editor in chief of the Journal of Traumatic Stress, and has been a member of the editorial boards of several other scientific journals.