Epidemiology of trauma and trauma-related disorders in children and adolescents

Shaminka Gunaratnam, Eva Alisic

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


While most research concerning trauma has been conducted in adults, many children appear to be confronted with one or more potentially traumatic events while growing up and are at risk of developing a trauma-related disorder such as acute stress disorder (ASD) or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This chapter provides an overview of estimates of trauma exposure, ASD rates and PTSD rates among children and adolescents and their relevant predictors. Exposure to potentially traumatic events is highly frequent among young people across the world. Important predictors vary across the three outcomes of interest. Age, gender, externalising behaviour and stressors in the home environment appear relevant for trauma exposure. While empirical findings for ASD among children and adolescents are fairly scarce, the main predictors of PTSD appear to involve the nature of the trauma (with interpersonal trauma being related to higher rates of PTSD), acute stress levels, cognitive factors and family or broader social support factors. Non-Western countries and young children are underrepresented in research into exposure and trauma-related disorders.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEvidence-Based Treatments for Trauma Related Disorders in Children and Adolescents
EditorsMarkus A. Landolt, Marylène Cloitre, Ulrich Schnyder
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9783319461380
ISBN (Print)9783319461366
Publication statusPublished - 13 Feb 2017

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