Pediatric Posttraumatic Stress

  • Olivia Altamirano
  • Victor G. Carrión
Part of the Child Maltreatment Solutions Network book series (CMSN)


Just like adults, but with enhanced vulnerability, children are susceptible to the experience of traumatic events and the development of pediatric Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms and associated functional impairment. Children living in under-resourced communities may be especially vulnerable if they live with multiple stressors, such as community violence and poverty, and if their community lacks resources to aid in these challenges. Studies on pediatric PTSD have shown differences between the aforementioned group and children reporting no trauma, including emotional and behavioral differences. Our research has furthered this line of work by employing a multimethod approach that includes brain anatomy and function and studies of the stress hormone cortisol. In order to equip children with the resources they need to surpass adversity, we have translated research findings into novel compositions of individual therapy and large-scale school-delivered programs. We have also participated in the development of integrative care between primary and mental health service systems and utilized our work to impact policy. It is our goal to further pediatric PTSD treatment through evidence-based research, implementation and dissemination of programs, and policy change. This chapter will elaborate on all of the aforementioned topics.


Trauma Brain development Posttraumatic stress disorder Cue-Centered therapy Prefrontal cortex Hippocampus 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesEarly Life Stress and Pediatric Anxiety Program Stanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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