College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Complex Traumatic Stress in the Pediatric Medical Setting

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-2-2013

Keywords

Child Abuse, Chronic Illness, Complex Trauma, Trauma-Informed Care, Pediatric Illness

Publication Title

Journal of Trauma and Dissociation

ISSN

1529-9732

Volume

14

Issue/No.

1

Abstract

There has been a recent increase in research focusing on child complex traumatic stress following prolonged or repeated trauma. These traumatic stress reactions often affect many aspects of the child's functioning, including psychological, behavioral, and physical health. In addition, complex traumatic stress experienced by youth with serious medical conditions may influence health issues such as medical adherence, emotional adjustment to illness, and pain management. This article reviews and delineates the current state of the literature on the impact of complex traumatic stress in childhood on mental and physical health as well as on these pediatric health-related issues. To date, few empirical studies have directly addressed this association. Several features associated with complex traumatic stress, such as emotion regulation difficulties, disruptive behavior, and family conflict, have indirectly been demonstrated to interfere with pediatric adherence, medical coping, and pain management. This demonstrates the need for more focused research in this area.

DOI

10.1080/15299732.2012.724761