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Understanding and Assessing Trauma in Children and Adolescents


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Table of Contents

Part I: Understanding Trauma in Youths and the Issues Related to its Assessment. The Effects of Extreme Stress: Traumatic Reactions in Children and Adolexcents. The Neurobiology of Childhood Trauma. The Complexity of Associations. The Nature of Assessment. Risk and Resilience Factors: Trauma's Mediator, Moderator, or Outcome Variables. Part II: Aspects of the Youth and His or Her Environment: Their Assessment and/or Influence on the Assessment of Trauma. The Nature of the Child. Culture and Family Background. Attachment. Part III: Methods and Measures for Assessing Trauma in Youths. Interviewing Youths Following Traumatic Events. The Nature of the Event: Assessing Exposure Levels and Complicated Reactions. Self-reports of Trauma Symptoms: School Age Children and Adolescents. The Use of Projective Tests in the Evaluation of Childhood Trauma. Adult Reports: Parent, Teacher, and Clinician Reports of Trauma. Part IV: Assessing Additional Trauma Symptoms. The Integration of Information Following Traumas: Understanding and Assessing Information Processing and Dissociation. The Assessment of Post-trauma Comorbidity and Behavioral Symptoms. Part V: Pulling it All Together. Writing Reports Regarding Traumatized Youths. An Afterword: Some Conclusions About Assessing Trauma in Youths.

About the Author

Kathleen Nader, D.S.W., is Director of the Two Suns Childhood Trauma Program in Ceder Park, Texas, and an internationally recognized expert on child trauma and posttraumatic stress.


"This book is brilliant and fills a gap in the growing scientific literature on trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder. A pioneer in the study of PTSD in children, Dr. Nader has written a classic book on understanding how trauma impacts children, adolescents and the developmental process. A must read for clinicians, social workers and researchers." - John P. Wilson, Professor of Psychology, Cleveland State University, USA"An extensive, almost encyclopedic review of the etiology, phenomenology, and measurement of posttraumatic symptoms in children. The careful treatment of culture, gender, attachment, and biology, all in the context of detailed trauma assessment, makes this book a major standout. Very highly recommended to child-adolescent clinicians and researchers!" - John Briere, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, University of Southern California; Co-Director, MCAVIC-USC Child and Adolescent Trauma Program, National Child Traumatic Stress Network, USA"This very comprehensive and much needed book will be treasured by clinicians who treat traumatized children and youth and by students who are attempting to master the intricacies of the assessment process. It promises to become an essential resource in the clinical treatment of traumatized children and youth." - Nancy Boyd Webb, Distinguished Professor of Social Work, Fordham University, USA"This book is a classic. If you have any interest at all in assessing children and adolescents' reactions to traumatic events, you must read this book." - Kenneth E. Fletcher, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Family Medicine and Community Health, and the Graduate School of Nursing, University of Massachusetts Medical School, USA

"...a valuable resource for any individual working in the field of child trauma. Comprehensive and thorough, it is written to be accessible to both researchers and clinicians...A wide range of topics is covered in a well-organized fashion...Kathleen Nader provides an exceptional overview and integration of child trauma topics. Her treatment of contextual considerations synthesizes valuable clinical expertise and, importantly, a well-grounded empirical basis...recommended as a resource for students new to the field as well as experienced child trauma professionals." - Annmarie C. Hulette, Journal of Trauma and Dissociation

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