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.

Student Perspectives: Embracing Mentorship and Creating a Network of Professional Support

Posted 1 September 2018 in StressPoints by Virginia K. McCaughey

Early career mentors are some of the first people we choose to be a part of our professional development. We invite them into our lives, while they allow us into theirs, to build something of a partnership. Our parents are intrinsically the first people to support us in a unidirectional way, followed by close family members, teachers, and coaches. In a literal sense, these people are assigned to us, but it is not until we meet professionals whose footsteps we would like to follow that we begin to choose, for ourselves, who will guide us. The concept of choosing a mentor, as opposed to being assigned one, is an important part of the conception of mentoring relationships.

Military Matters: The Ohio Army National Guard Mental Health Initiative: Cohort Summary and Key Findings

Posted 1 September 2018 in StressPoints by Laura Sampson and Gregory H. Cohen

Editor's Note: In the United States, the Army National Guard is a federal military reserve force stationed in each of the 50 states, three territories, and the District of Columbia.

The Army National Guard (ARNG) has been increasingly deployed during recent conflicts, particularly in Afghanistan and Iraq, as part of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn. ARNG engagement was crucial during these operations, and continues to be for current deployments, given the lack of a mandatory draft and related decreases in enrollment of active-duty service members over time (Anon 2011; Tanielian and Jaycox 2008).

Media Matters: News, Netflix, and Numbing: Why Media Really Does Matter

Posted 1 September 2018 in StressPoints by Melissa Turkel and Heather Kacos

The current trend in news media is to provide widespread and in-depth coverage on catastrophic and stressful events. When horrific events and mass acts of terrorism occur, news outlets provide moment-to-moment updates on “active scenes,” body counts, and emergency responder activity, often showing graphic images of violence and destruction. Reporters also extensively discuss backgrounds and lives of perpetrators as well as victims. This creates an almost character-like quality to the story, which makes it harder to separate from your average Netflix crime drama.

Global Perspectives: Improving Care Quality and Preventing Maltreatment in Institutional Care in Sub-Saharan Africa

Posted 1 September 2018 in StressPoints by Tobias Hecker & Katharin Hermenau

With more than 56 million orphans, sub-Saharan Africa is the most affected region worldwide regarding the number of orphans needing care (UNICEF, 2014). An orphan is hereby defined as a child under the age of 18, who lost one or both parents due to death from any cause (UNICEF, 2006). As a result of poverty, political conflicts, and the HIV/AIDS pandemic, the traditional system of care within extended families is overburdened by the rising numbers of orphans (Better Care Network, 2015; Li et al., 2008). Thus, childcare institutions still constitute the most frequently utilized form of providing formal alternative care for children without parents (McCall & Groark, 2015; Rygaard, 2010).

From Our Members: Former Soviet Union, September 1990: (I)STSS in Moscow

Posted 1 September 2018 in StressPoints by Jacob D. Lindy and Bonnie L. Green

Today’s international politics swirl around the issue of U.S.-Russia relations, specifically trust versus mistrust. In 1990, members of the Board of the (then) Society for Traumatic Stress Studies traveled to Moscow for a symposium on traumatic stress. The moment was a portentous one: the Cold War was ending; the Berlin Wall had recently fallen; the USSR was in its last days, and Mikhail Gorbachev’s Perestroika was in full force.

Trauma and World Literature: Crimes of the Father by Thomas Keneally

Posted 17 July 2018 in StressPoints by Howard Lipke, PhD

In Crimes of the Father, Thomas Keneally, a former seminarian and author of Booker Prize-winning Shindler’s List, takes on the history of widespread sexual abuse in the Catholic Church as it began to be revealed in the 1990s. In Keneally’s 2016 novel, as in Pat Barker’s Regeneration Trilogy about World War I, trauma and its effects are shown from many perspectives, including that of the mental health professionals of the time.

Trauma and Diversity: Racial Inequity in the Child Welfare System

Posted 17 July 2018 in StressPoints by Bridget Cho, MA

In recent years, there has been greater awareness that some children are disproportionately likely to become engaged with child welfare services based on their racial identity. African American males in particular are more likely to be placed in institutional settings, experience more placement moves, and are more likely to age out of care compared to the general population of children (Miller, Farrow, Meltzer, & Notkin, 2012).

Student Perspectives: #TimesUp Academia: Harassment of Graduate Students in the World of Academia

Posted 17 July 2018 in StressPoints by Kristen N. Gray, M.A. and Chelsea M. Cogan, M.A.

“The clock has run out on sexual assault, harassment, and inequality in the workplace. It's time to do something about it” (TimesUp, 2017). The #TimesUp movement began and continues to gain popularity as an action-driven cause aimed at ending inequality between men and women within the workplace.
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