The Validation Of The Trauma Assessment For Young Children

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Title: The Validation Of The Trauma Assessment For Young Children
Author: Strickler, Heidi Lynne
Abstract: Young children experience a variety of traumatic experiences ranging from divorce and witnessing family violence , to living with parents who have addictive behaviors , to experiencing severe illness and injury , to experiencing population wide traumas , to experiencing physical or sexual abuse or other forms of child maltreatment . Young children between the ages of 3 and 7 are in the preoperational stage of cognitive development and consequently process these experiences in a different manner than adults . As a result , assessment measures need to take this cognitive processing into account and look at the children's views of their experiences . Psychosocial development is equally important in the development of assessment instruments , since children in this age group are within Erikson's stages of initiative versus guilt and industry versus inferiority , so they are beginning to develop their own opinions and representations of the world . Assessment instruments also need to communicate with children on their own level , which at this age , is through play . The current study developed an assessment instrument of trauma symptoms in young children based on a combination of the American Psychiatric Association's diagnostic criteria for Post -Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD ) , recommendations for alternative diagnostic criteria for PTSD in preschool children , and theoretical literature related to complex trauma and developmental trauma disorder in young children . The Trauma Assessment for Young Children was tested in a control sample of children from an area Head Start Center and a designated trauma sample from children's advocacy centers and domestic violence shelters . The purpose of the study was to validate the Trauma Assessment for Young Children . The Trauma Assessment for Young Children had good test -retest reliability . The measure was found to have moderate internal consistency on both the child -report and caregiver -report versions , with higher levels in the caregiver report , . The Trauma Assessment for Young Children had good convergent validity with the PTSD subscales (intrusiveness , avoidance , arousal , and total PTSD ) with the Trauma Symptom Checklist for Young Children for the total sample and with all susbscales except arousal for the designated trauma group . It demonstrated good discriminant validity with the externalizing (aggressive , attention , and total externalizing ) subscales of the Child Behavior Checklist ) for the designated trauma group , and for the control group and total sample on attention . Finally , the Trauma Assessment for Young Children demonstrated known groups validity on the caregiver -report version of the measure , indicating that it has the ability to differentiate between the designated trauma group and the control group . These results are promising for the future utility of the measure with children who have experienced a trauma ; however , the sample size was small ; therefore , implications for future research are discussed , as well as , implications for social work policy and practice .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /10106 /5629
Date: 2011-07-14


The Validation Of The Trauma Assessment For Young Children. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /10106 /5629 .

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