Evidence Base Update for Psychosocial Treatments for Children and Adolescents Exposed to Traumatic Events
Graduate School of Social Work
Trauma exposure, Posttraumatic stress, Evidence-based treatment, Child and adolescent trauma
Child and adolescent trauma exposure is prevalent, with trauma exposure-related symptoms, including posttraumatic stress, depressive, and anxiety symptoms often causing substantial impairment. This article updates the evidence base on psychosocial treatments for child and adolescent trauma exposure completed for this journal by Silverman et al. (2008). For this review, we focus on 37 studies conducted during the seven years since the last review. Treatments are grouped by overall treatment family (e.g., cognitive behavioral therapy), treatment modality (e.g., individual vs. group), and treatment participants (e.g., child only vs. child and parent). All studies were evaluated for methodological rigor according to Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology evidence-based treatment evaluation criteria (Southam-Gerow & Prinstein, 2014), with cumulative designations for level of support for each treatment family. Individual CBT with parent involvement, individual CBT, and group CBT were deemed well-established; group CBT with parent involvement and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) were deemed probably efficacious; individual integrated therapy for complex trauma and group mind–body skills were deemed possibly efficacious; individual client-centered play therapy, individual mind–body skills, and individual psychoanalysis were deemed experimental; and group creative expressive + CBT was deemed questionable efficacy. Advances in the evidence base, with comparisons to the state of the science at the time of the Silverman et al. (2008) review, are discussed. Finally, we present dissemination and implementation challenges and areas for future research.
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Dorsey, S., McLaughlin, K. A., Kerns, S. E. U., Harrison, J. P., Lambert, H. K., Briggs, E. C., . . . Amaya-Jackson, L. (2016). Evidence Base Update for Psychosocial Treatments for Children and Adolescents Exposed to Traumatic Events. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 46(3), 303-330. DOI: 10.1080/15374416.2016.1220309.