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.

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.
 

Mental Health Diagnoses among Women Experiencing Recent Intimate Partner Violence: Need for Integrated Care

Posted 2 February 2018 in JOTS Highlights by Melissa E. Dichter, PhD, MSW

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is the term used to refer to violence and abuse in various forms (including psychological, physical, sexual, financial), perpetrated by a current or former intimate partner (including spouse or other romantic or sexual partner; World Health Organization, United Nations Development Programme & United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2014). In the United States, it is estimated that more than one in three women experience rape, physical violence, or stalking from an intimate partner in their lifetimes (Black et al., 2011); prevalence and incident rates vary by measurement tools and constructs measured. IPV is associated with numerous adverse outcomes, including physical injuries, chronic health conditions, trauma-related mental health symptoms, unhealthy substance use, housing instability, and suicidality.
 

Topiramate as Monotherapy or Adjunctive Treatment for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Meta-Analysis 

Posted 2 February 2018 in JOTS Highlights by Archana Varma MD, Michael Moore MD

Topiramate, an anticonvulsant agent, has been studied as a primary and adjunctive treatment for PTSD, yet little is known regarding the efficacy of this treatment approach.  The neurochemical basis for PTSD is hypothesized to involve kindling of the limbic nuclei and increased susceptibility to arousal. Anticonvulsants have been investigated as potential augmentation or monotherapy strategies to treat PTSD due to their anxiolytic and anti- kindling effects.
 

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).
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