A meta-analysis of risk factors for post-traumatic stress disorder in children and adolescents

Trickey, David, Siddaway, Andy P, Meiser-Stedman, Richard, Serpell, Lucy and Field, Andy P (2012) A meta-analysis of risk factors for post-traumatic stress disorder in children and adolescents. Clinical Psychology Review, 32 (2). pp. 122-138. ISSN 0272-7358

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Abstract

Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a complex and chronic disorder that causes substantial distress and interferes with social and educational functioning. Consequently, identifying the risk factors that make a child more likely to experience traumatic distress is of academic, clinical and social importance. This meta-analysis estimated the population effect sizes of 25 potential risk factors for PTSD in children and adolescents aged 6-18 years across 64 studies (N = 32,238). Medium to large effect sizes were shown for many factors relating to subjective experience of the event and post-trauma variables (low social support, peri-trauma fear, perceived life threat, social withdrawal, comorbid psychological problem, poor family functioning, distraction, PTSD at time 1, and thought suppression); whereas pre-trauma variables and more objective measures of the assumed severity of the event generated small to medium effect sizes. This indicates that subjective peri-trauma factors and post-event factors are likely to have a major role in determining whether a child develops PTSD following exposure to a traumatic event. Such factors could potentially be assessed following a potentially traumatic event in order to screen for those most vulnerable to developing PTSD and target treatment efforts accordingly. The findings support the cognitive model of PTSD as a way of understanding its development and guiding interventions to reduce symptoms.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Post-traumatic stress disorder; Risk factor;Children; Adolescent; Predictor
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0511 Affection. Feeling. Emotion
Depositing User: Andy Field
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2012 12:00
Last Modified: 07 Aug 2014 11:59
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/41414

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