International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies

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Articles that appear in the Trauma Blog are from StressPoints, Journal of Traumatic Stress 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.

Is and Ought in Trauma: Descriptive and Prescriptive Cognitions in Moral Injury

Posted 27 March 2019 in JOTS Highlights by Jacob Farnsworth, PhD

Moral injury refers to the “the lasting psychological, biological, spiritual, behavioral, and social impact of perpetrating, failing to prevent, or bearing witness to acts that transgress deeply held moral beliefs and expectations” (Litz, et al. 2009, p. 697).

Compassion Meditation for PTSD in Veterans: A Randomized Proof of Concept Study

Posted 27 March 2019 in JOTS Highlights by Ariel J Lang, PhD, MPH & Anne Malaktaris, PhD

Worldwide, complementary and alternative practices are commonly used to support physical and mental health. Meditation, in particular, is growing in popularity, and various types of meditation may be useful for addressing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (Lang et al., 2012).

Can trauma cause a moral injury?

Posted 1 January 2019 in JOTS Highlights by Brandon Griffin, Natalie Purcell, Kristine Burkman & Shira Maguen

There has been a growing interest in traumatic events that may violate people’s core moral beliefs. While not exclusively a military-related issue, some service members and veterans attribute chronic and pervasive problems to potentially morally injurious deployment-related experiences such as injuring or killing enemy combatants or failing to prevent the suffering of fellow service members or civilians.

When Nowhere is Safe: The Traumatic Origins of Developmental Trauma Disorder

Posted 22 October 2018 in JOTS Highlights by Joseph Spinazzola, Ph.D. & Julian D. Ford, Ph.D.

Over the past 15 years, Developmental Trauma Disorder (DTD) has been formulated and proposed as a diagnosis by clinicians and researchers—and more broadly, as a way to capture the complex psychological, biological, and interpersonal sequelae of children’s exposure to victimization that extend beyond posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (D'Andrea, Ford, Stolbach, Spinazzola, & van der Kolk, 2012; Ford et al., 2013; van der Kolk, 2005). Results of an international survey of pediatric and behavioral health clinicians provided initial support for the clinical utility of the DTD syndrome (Ford et al., 2013).

Trauma, Depression, and Social Support Among Migrant and Non-Migrant Males in Kazakhstan

Posted 22 October 2018 in JOTS Highlights by Kaitlin Ward, Ph.D., Stacy Shaw, Ph.D., Mingway Chang, Ph.D., & Nabila El-Bassel Ph.D.

Globally, experiencing trauma is associated with depression (Ehring, Razik, & Emmelkamp, 2011; Fowler, Allen, Oldham, & Frueh, 2013). Some studies have found that receiving social support can lessen the effects that traumatic events have on depression; however, this has not been studied among men in Central Asia. Urban areas of Kazakhstan have become desirable destinations for migrants in the Central Asian region who are seeking economic opportunity (Anderson & Hancilova, 2011), insomuch that approximately 3.6 million migrants are currently living in Kazakhstan (International Organization for Migration [IOM], 2017).

Individuals with PTSD Experience Difficulties Regulating Positive Emotions

Posted 10 September 2018 in JOTS Highlights by Nicole H. Weiss, Ph.D., Katherine L. Dixon-Gordon, Ph.D., Courtney Peasant, Ph.D., & Tami P. Sullivan, Ph.D.

Emotion regulation has been increasingly viewed as a transdiagnostic factor with relevance to development and treatment of several forms of psychopathology, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, existing research in this area has focused almost exclusively on difficulties stemming from negative emotions. Recent work suggests that individuals may also experience difficulties regulating positive emotions.

Crossing the Finish Line in TF-CBT: Factors Associated with Treatment Completion for Families Following Alleged Child Abuse

Posted 1 June 2018 in JOTS Highlights by Anna Stagg, MEd, PhD & Amanda NeMoyer, J.D., Ph.D.

Childhood physical and/or sexual abuse—something more than 100,000 youth in the United States have experienced—has been observed to detrimentally impact youth across biological, psychological, and social domains, and may lead to posttraumatic stress and trauma

The Thinking About Recovery Scale: A New Parent-Report Questionnaire to use after Children are Exposed to Traumatic Events

Posted 2 February 2018 in JOTS Highlights by Elizabeth J. Schilpzand, Rowena Conroy, Vicki Anderson, Eva Alisic

Parental responses are thought to be critical to children’s recovery from trauma. Parent and child PTSD often occur together (Morris, Gabert-Quillen, & Delahanty, 2012), parents appear to make important contributions to the treatment of child PTSD (Gutermann et al., 2016), and a range of parenting behaviors are associated with childhood PTSD (Williamson et al., 2017). Despite acknowledgement in the field that parents play an important role in children’s recovery from trauma, we currently have limited understanding about the processes by which parents could influence child outcomes. Improving our understanding of these mechanisms will help us better prevent and treat adverse outcomes for families after a child experiences a traumatic event. In our recent research, we have focused on the role of cognitions.
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