DSM-V PTSD diagnostic criteria for children and adolescents: a developmental perspective and recommendations

J Trauma Stress. 2009 Oct;22(5):391-8. doi: 10.1002/jts.20450. Epub 2009 Sep 24.


The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V) should ensure systematic attention to age-specific manifestations and selective modifications of the diagnostic criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among children and adolescents. The authors propose developmental refinements to the conceptual framework for PTSD based on an appreciation of the different neurosignatures of danger and safety, and maturational processes that underlie symptom presentation. This includes preliminary evidence for the developmental salience of additional dimensions for PTSD (e.g., recklessness and thrill-seeking). The authors provide conservative recommendations for DSM-V diagnostic criteria that primarily highlight age-related developmental manifestations that, if included in the accompanying text, would bring a richer appreciation of developmentally linked symptom presentations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Development*
  • Child
  • Child Development*
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders*
  • Humans
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology