alexa Long-term symptoms and posttraumatic growth in traumatised adolescents: findings from a specialised outpatient clinic.


Journal of Child and Adolescent Behavior

Author(s): Vloet A, Simons M, Vloet TD, Sander M, HerpertzDahlmann B, , Vloet A, Simons M, Vloet TD, Sander M, HerpertzDahlmann B,

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Abstract Although traumatic experiences are associated with an increased risk of developing psychiatric disorders, little is known regarding the long-term outcomes of traumatised adolescents. In the current study, 42 traumatised adolescents who had been referred to a specialised health service were reassessed 2 to 5 years after the traumatic event. The course of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other psychiatric symptoms, the development of posttraumatic growth (PTG), and parental PTSD were analysed. The rate of PTSD (full and partial) declined from 59.5\% to 11.9\% between the first assessment and the follow-up. On average, low levels of PTG were reported by the adolescents at follow-up. Sexual abuse was associated with most severe PTSD symptoms at initial assessment (η(2) = .18) and the highest PTG (η(2) = .12). Adolescents with psychotherapeutic support showed the largest symptom reduction (η(2) = .15). Adolescent PTSD at follow-up was shown to be correlated with both PTG (r = .34) and parental PTSD (r = .58). The results highlight the need for psychotherapeutic support for traumatised adolescents and their parents to prevent long-term psychological impairment. The development of PTG should be considered in the aftermath of trauma and its relevance for posttraumatic recovery should be addressed in future studies. Copyright © 2014 International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. This article was published in J Trauma Stress and referenced in Journal of Child and Adolescent Behavior

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