Mass trauma: disasters, terrorism, and war

Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2014 Apr;23(2):257-79, viii. doi: 10.1016/j.chc.2013.12.004. Epub 2014 Feb 16.


Disasters, war, and terrorism expose millions of children globally to mass trauma with increasing frequency and severity. The clinical impact of such exposure is influenced by a child's social ecology, which is understood in a risk and resilience framework. Research findings informed by developmental systems theory and the related core principles of contemporary developmental psychopathology are reviewed. Their application to the recent recommendations for interventions based on evolving public health models of community resilience are discussed along with practical clinical tools for individual response.

Keywords: Child development; Children; Disasters; Mass trauma; Mental health; Terrorism; War.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child Welfare
  • Disasters*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychology, Child*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*
  • Terrorism / psychology*
  • Warfare*