Difficulties in assessing traumatic reactions in children

Tammie Ronen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Children's traumatic responses are of major interest to social workers, who are involved in assuring children's well-being, protecting children from harmful environmental influences, and preventing future injury (Ronen, 1998a). The present article aims at highlighting some of the difficulties related to the assessment of children's responses to traumatic experiences. Difficulties in assessing reactions to trauma are emphasized in light of contradictory research trends relating to the possibility that children develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Assessment difficulties are discussed in terms of family and developmental issues, type of trauma, and assessment procedure variables. Guidelines are presented for assessing the severity of children's responses to traumatic events based on PTSD criteria, the context of normal childhood behavior problems, and developmental considerations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-106
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Loss and Trauma
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2002


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