Practitioner Review: Posttraumatic stress disorder and its treatment in children and adolescents

J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2019 May;60(5):500-515. doi: 10.1111/jcpp.12983. Epub 2018 Oct 23.


Important advances in understanding traumatic stress reactions in children and young people have been made in recent years. The aim of this review was to synthesise selected recent research findings, with a focus on their relevance to clinical practice. We therefore address: findings on the epidemiology of trauma exposure and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); recent changes to diagnostic classification; implications for screening and assessment of traumatic stress reactions; and treatment outcome studies including interventions for acute and chronic PTSD, dissemination of effective treatments into community settings, and early interventions. We conclude with recommendations for clinical practice and suggestions for future areas of research.

Keywords: Cognitive therapy; diagnosis; posttraumatic stress disorder; trauma; treatment trials.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy*
  • Humans
  • Psychological Trauma / diagnosis*
  • Psychological Trauma / therapy*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / therapy*