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January 3, 2011

Developing Interventions for Trauma-Exposed ChildrenA Comment on Progress to Date, and 3 Recommendations for Further Advancing the Field

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: UCLA/Duke University National Center for Child Traumatic Stress, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles.

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2011;165(1):89-90. doi:10.1001/archpediatrics.2010.257

The study by Cohen et al1 in this issue of the Archives presents a number of promising findings. Consistent with the conclusions of a recent review,2 an 8-session cognitive behavior treatment for trauma-related symptoms was found to be more effective than an 8-session nondirective child-centered therapy as gauged by a number of outcome measures, including a structured diagnostic interview for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and self-report measures of PTSD and anxiety symptoms. These findings are cause for hope in that they shed light on treatment practices that may significantly benefit children exposed to interpersonal violence, many of whom live under circumstances of ongoing threat and adversity. These findings also point to a number of questions of considerable importance to the broader field of traumatic stress in children. I will briefly explore 3 of these.

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