Abnormal Child & Adolescent Psychology

Resources for Introduction to Abnormal Child & Adolescent Psychology (4th edition)

12. Trauma-Related Disorders & Child Maltreatment

Learning Objectives

Social-Emotional Deprivation in Infancy

Describe the effects of social and emotional deprivation on the development of infants and young children.


Child Maltreatment

Evaluate potential consequences of child maltreatment from a risk and resilience perspective and describe the best way to help youths who have experienced abuse or neglect.


Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Outline the essential features of PTSD and explain how its signs and symptoms vary as a function of children's age, social-cultural context, and exposure to the trauma.

Describe evidence-based treatments for children and adolescents with PTSD.

Note: The number before each objective shows its corresponding module in the text.


Syria's Lost Generation

This excellent documentary, produced by Time, shows the plight of Syrian children exposed to their country's civil war. The film portrays both risk and resilience.


Nathanael Matanick has created an amazing, short video about the psychological effects of domestic violence and neglect on children's psychosocial functioning.

Improving Attachment

This excellent video, produced by the American Museum of Natural History, discusses the history of attachment theory and current work to improve attachment quality in at-risk families.

Learn More

PTSD Rating Scales

Helping Give Away Psychological Science (HGAPS) is a student-based organization that is dedicated to providing the best information about psychological science to the public. The HGAPS Assessment Center provides rating scales to assess PTSD in children, adolescents, and adults. You can complete the scales online and learn how clinicians use them to help individuals in need.

Effective Child Therapy: PTSD

The Society of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology (APA Division 53) summarizes the latest research on PTSD and its evidence-based treatment. Their site provides detailed descriptions and videos of the most efficacious treatments available. It's the best place to go to learn more about PTSD in kids. Specific treatments for children exposed to natural disasters or terrorism may be found here.

National Child Traumatic Stress Network

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) was created by Congress to raise the standard of care and increase access to services for children and families who experience or witness traumatic events. At their site, you can learn about trauma-informed care, psychological first aid, and evidence-based interventions for youths and caregivers.

American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC)

The American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children is a national organization focused on meeting the needs of professionals who serve maltreated children and their families. APSAC publishes practice guidelines and research on child abuse and neglect. The “Resources and Links” section is a good place to start learning about child maltreatment.

APA Division 37: Society for Child and Family Policy and Practice

Section 1 of APA’s Division 37 was established to support and promote scientific inquiry, training, professional practice, and advocacy in the area of child maltreatment.

Bucharest (Romania) Early Intervention Project

This website discusses the plights and outcomes of Romanian orphans subjected to severe deprivation in infancy and early childhood. It also offers a hopeful message about how long-term problems can be avoided with early intervention.

Child Welfare Information Gateway

The Child Welfare Information Gateway is a service of the Children's Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Gateway provides access to print and electronic publications, websites, and online databases covering a wide range of topics including child welfare, child abuse and neglect, adoption, and search and reunion.

Children’s Defense Fund (CDF)

The CDF is a private, nonprofit organization designed to promote healthy children and families. The organization is engaged in education, outreach, public policy analysis, and child advocacy. Be sure to look at the “Data” section for recent statistics on child maltreatment and prevention.

National Center for PTSD

Students interest in PTSD in adults can access information from the National Center for PTSD website, maintained by the United States Department of Veteran Affairs. The site also includes information specific to PTSD in children and adolescents.