Abnormal Child & Adolescent Psychology

Resources for students and teachers...

12. Trauma-Related Disorders & Child Maltreatment

Learning Objectives

Describe the key features of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and explain how the signs and symptoms of

this disorder vary as a function of children’s age and exposure to trauma.


Identify and give examples of evidence-based psychosocial treatments for PTSD in youths.


Differentiate between reactive attachment disorder (RAD) and disinhibited social engagement disorder (DSED)

in terms of their key features, causes, and treatment.


List and give examples of the four main types of child maltreatment.

Describe the potential consequences of child maltreatment and therapies that are effective to help children

exposed to abuse and neglect.

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


Ready to Study? Click here to access flashcards for key terms presented in the text. Flashcards are a great way to help you define, explain, and give examples of important terms and ideas. (You may need to create a free Quizlet account to access the flashcards.)

Test Your Critical Thinking

Ready to Review? Click here to review each of the research questions presented in the text. Review questions are a great way to test your application and critical thinking skills.


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

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.