Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Research Paper

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Judith E. Fox

Second Advisor

Apryl Alexander

Third Advisor

Kathleen M. Devlin


Adverse childhood experiences, Neuroadaptation, Resilience, Trauma focused cognitive behavior therapy


Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) pose a significant public health risk. Current literature suggests ACEs have the potential to significantly disrupt sensitive periods of neurodevelopment. These neuroadaptations can result in social, emotional, and cognitive impairments that place a child at a significantly greater risk for adopting health risk behaviors and lifestyle factors that lead to the major causes of disease, disability, social problems, and early death in adults. Mental health clinicians have a unique opportunity to intervene by working with families to alter the trajectories of the child’s health risk behaviors and lifestyle factors. Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), a common trauma treatment modality for children will be reviewed for its efficacy and limitations in promoting long-term pro-health outcomes. Finally, implications for clinical practice will be identified including recommendations that emphasize the development and maintenance of skills and strategies that increase resilience. Recommendations will be provided in the context of promoting long-term pro-health outcomes through the implementation of TF-CBT, in order to aid mental health clinicians in meeting the unique needs of children and families recovering from adversity.

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Publication Statement

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36 pgs