Complex Trauma in Children and Adolescents

Complex Trauma in Children and Adolescents
Posted 4/16/2020

Complex trauma outcomes refer to the range of clinical symptomatology that appears after such exposures. Exposure to traumatic stress in early life is associated with enduring sequelae that not only incorporate, but also extend beyond, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). These sequelae span multiple domains of impairment and include: (a) self-regulatory, attachment, anxiety, and affective disorders in infancy and childhood; (b) addictions, aggression, social helplessness and eating disorders; (c) dissociative, somataform, cardiovascular, metabolic, and immunological disorders; (d) sexual disorders in adolescence and adulthood; and (e) revictimization. This white paper discusses these issues and includes sections such as diagnostic issues for complex trauma, organizing framework of trauma outcomes, impact of trauma on development, resilience, adaptation to complex trauma, coping and protective factors, approaches to treatment and recommendations.