Assessing the Validity and Clinical Utility of a Developmental Trauma Diagnosis in Ethnic Minority Adolescents

J Child Adolesc Trauma. 2019 Jul 4;12(4):479-488. doi: 10.1007/s40653-019-00272-2. eCollection 2019 Dec.


Developmental Trauma Disorder (DTD), a proposed diagnostic construct designed to reflect symptoms common among multiply-traumatized youth, was examined in a population of primarily female, predominantly Hispanic and African-American adolescents seeking psychiatric treatment (N = 53). The study uses a mix of interview and self-report data to test the prevalence of DTD symptoms relative to PTSD symptoms in this sample as well as to differentiate the DTD symptoms from DSM-IV and DSM-5 PTSD. DTD symptomatology was found to be as prevalent in the sample as PTSD symptomatology and further, DTD was found to be distinct from PTSD These results add to the literature suggesting the utility and need for the addition of a DTD diagnosis to the DSM, as well as offer insight into a population that has not been heavily scrutinized under a DTD framework.

Keywords: Adolescent; Assessment/evaluation; Mental health; Race/ethnicity; Trauma.