International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies

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Articles that appear in the Trauma Blog are from StressPoints or web editorial contributions.

StressPoints is the award-winning online eNewsletter of ISTSS. StressPoints shares news and opinions about traumatic stress, highlights ISTSS and affiliate societies' activities and offers informational resources and feature articles of interest to the field. Access archived StressPoints articles prior to 2015.

Do all children follow the same symptom trajectory after exposure to a disaster?

Posted 28 November 2017 in JOTS Highlights by Rayleen M. Lewis, MPH, Michelle S. Livings, Betty S. Lai, Ph.D., Annette M. La Greca, Ph.D., ABPP and Ann-Margaret Esnard, Ph.D.

More than 100 million children worldwide are exposed to disasters each year (UNISDR, 2011), and disasters are increasing in both frequency and intensity (USGCRP, 2016). Following a disaster, posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) are the primary problem presenting in children (Furr, 2010).

The Development and Validation of a Self-Report Instrument that assesses ICD-11 Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Complex PTSD: The Complex Trauma Inventory (CTI)

Posted 22 November 2017 in JOTS Highlights by Justin M. Litvin, M.A., Patricia Kaminski Ph.D. and Shelley A. Riggs, Ph.D.

Since there is a significant shift in the definition of PTSD and a new trauma disorder is proposed, new assessment tools are needed to measure these novel constructs.

Neurological Reactivity of Combat Veterans with PTSD Following Exposure to Trauma-related Auditory and Olfactory Cues: An fNIRS Study

Posted 22 November 2017 in JOTS Highlights by Michael Gramlich, M.S., Sandra M. Neer, Ph.D., and Deborah C. Beidel, Ph.D. ABPP

In recent years, national agencies and clinical research centers began advocating for integrative approaches that capture behavioral, genetic, and neurophysiological mechanisms to better understand complex and chronic disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Finding common ground in Moral Injury treatment

Posted 19 November 2017 in JOTS Highlights by Brian Klassen, Ph.D.

The experience of military service members who serve in combat is complex and can include multiple elements of fear, traumatic loss of friends and comrades, and provocative situations that challenge one’s basic sense of right and wrong (Stein et al., 2012).

Does the suffering end after placing children with traumatic experiences in foster families? A study of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in young children in foster care in Germany

Posted 19 November 2017 in JOTS Highlights by Mira Vasileva, M.Sc. and Franz Petermann, Ph.D.

For a long time it was assumed that very young children cannot experience symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD); the common stance was that they are not able, at this early age, to appraise an experience as traumatic, or to develop symptoms such as re-experiencing, since their memory is still developing.

“One Scar Too Many:” The Association of Traumatic Events and Psychological Distress among Undocumented Mexican Immigrants

Posted 18 November 2017 in JOTS Highlights by Luz M. Garcini, Ph.D., MPH

The United States (U.S.) has been a primary destination for international migrants. Approximately 13% of the U.S. population is foreign born (U.S. Census Bureau, 2015), with a considerable proportion of these immigrants being undocumented (approximately 27%) and of Latinx/Hispanic descent (Pew Research Center, 2013).

A Trauma-focused Intervention for Refugee Minors: A Pilot Study

Posted 11 October 2017 in JOTS Highlights by Elisa Pfeiffer, M.Sc. and Lutz Goldbeck, Ph.D.

As many other European countries, Germany has in the last years welcomed thousands of refugees from all over the world, among them about 64,000 unaccompanied refugee minors, most of them in the age range between 14 and 17 years. Before their arrival in Germany, they often had been exposed to severe stressors such as physical abuse, war and life-threatening flight conditions over months and years.

Trauma and World Literature: Nature as a Healing Force After Trauma in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

Posted 1 October 2017 in StressPoints by John Scott Janssen, LCSW

Trauma and World Literature welcomes and encourages submissions from ISTSS members who wish to share insights on the intersection between the clinical and scientific study of psychological trauma and the world of letters. In this issue, we feature a contribution from John Scott Janssen, LCSW.

Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein is layered with subtle explorations of psychological trauma, moral anguish and complex grief. At various times Victor Frankenstein experiences symptoms of what we would now call PTSD–acute anxiety, insomnia, withdrawal, rage, depression, hypervigilance, intrusive memories, loss of an ability to experience positive emotions, catastrophic foreboding about the future and hyper-reactivity to triggers (for example, struggling to overcome anxiety and despair following his creation of a monster, he finds that “the sight of a chemical instrument would renew all the agony of my nervous symptoms”). (p. 69) Isolated, harboring a secret he cannot share, he even contemplates suicide.

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