CHILDREN, ADOLESCENTS AND TRAUMA
Jon A. Shaw, M.D.
This paper presents an overview of the psychological effects of trauma on chil-
dren and adolescents with speciﬁc attention to the epidemiology of traumatic
experiences, risk factors, developmental effects, the types of traumatic experi-
ences albeit a single event trauma or a chronic process trauma, the spectrum
of clinical presentations, psychiatric and psychological comorbidities as well as
assessment and therapeutic principles. In addition to the child’s psychological
response to the traumatic stressor communities are often devastated by natural
or man made disasters. The interactions between the child’s response with the
family and community response as well as community interventions are dis-
Life is inherently stressful. All organisms are constantly con-
fronted with threats to well being or even to life itself. Stress has
been deﬁned in a number of different ways. It has been deﬁned
as a threat or disturbances in homeostasis, a complex interaction
between the organism and the environment, a non-speciﬁc re-
sponse of the body to any demand placed upon it, or a demand
that exceeds the resources of the organism. Stress can best be
understood as a complex interaction between the organism and
the environment in which there is an incongruity between the
organism’s adaptive capacities and the demands placed on the or-
Jon A. Shaw, M.D., University of Miami School of Medicine.
Address correspondence to Jon A. Shaw, M.D., 2532 Lake Avenue, Miami
Beach, FL 33140.
PSYCHIATRIC QUARTERLY, Vol. 71, No. 3, 2000
0033-2720/00/0900-0227$18.00/0 2000 Human Sciences Press, Inc.