Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 479–488 | Cite as

Assessing the Validity and Clinical Utility of a Developmental Trauma Diagnosis in Ethnic Minority Adolescents

  • Alyce L. FosterEmail author
  • Wendy D’Andrea
  • Nicholas Fehertoi
  • C. J. Healy
  • Alec Miller
Original Article


Developmental Trauma Disorder (DTD), a proposed diagnostic construct designed to reflect symptoms common among multiply-traumatized youth, was examined in a population of primarily female, predominantly Hispanic and African-American adolescents seeking psychiatric treatment (N = 53). The study uses a mix of interview and self-report data to test the prevalence of DTD symptoms relative to PTSD symptoms in this sample as well as to differentiate the DTD symptoms from DSM-IV and DSM-5 PTSD. DTD symptomatology was found to be as prevalent in the sample as PTSD symptomatology and further, DTD was found to be distinct from PTSD These results add to the literature suggesting the utility and need for the addition of a DTD diagnosis to the DSM, as well as offer insight into a population that has not been heavily scrutinized under a DTD framework.


Adolescent Assessment/evaluation Mental health Race/ethnicity Trauma 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Disclosure of Interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical Standards and Informed Consent

All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation [institutional and national] and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000. All information was collected as part of routine clinical care and data were culled from charts.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alyce L. Foster
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Wendy D’Andrea
    • 2
  • Nicholas Fehertoi
    • 2
  • C. J. Healy
    • 2
  • Alec Miller
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.NYU School of Medicine WTC Health Program Clinical Center of ExcellenceNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyThe New School for Social ResearchNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Albert Einstein College of MedicineNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyMontefiore Medical CenterBronxUSA

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