Understanding the impact of childhood trauma

Drysdale, Stephen J. (2019) Understanding the impact of childhood trauma. DForenPsy thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Background: This thesis provides insight into the effects of trauma on children and adolescents. Appropriate assessment tools, and effective interventions for moderating the effects of childhood trauma, are necessary. The aim is to help inform the development of trauma-informed health and social care services, which are key to reducing health-harming behaviours, and therefore service demands and costs in the future.

Methodology: The range of methods employed to explore this topic include a systematic review, psychometric critique, case study, and research study.

Results: The systematic review yielded 792 publications, eight of which were relevant and reviewed. The results suggest that EMDR could be a promising psychotherapeutic approach for the treatment of trauma symptoms in children and adolescents across a range of settings. This is followed by a critique of the widely used psychometric; the Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children (TSCC; Briere, 1996). The TSCC has robust psychometric properties and demonstrates the potential to assist health and social care professionals in the treatment planning and symptom monitoring of childhood trauma-related symptoms. The subject of the case study was a 14 year old boy accommodated in a Scottish residential school, with a history of childhood trauma and range of problematic behaviours. He was assessed for a range of risk and protective factors including trauma, aggression, educational core skills, self-image/self-esteem, emotional intelligence, and resilience. The principal intervention was The Ross Programme (R&R2 Short Programme for Youth; Ross & Hilborn, 2003.). Self report, together with third party evidence from his care staff and teachers, suggested that he continued to make positive lifestyle changes, although reassessment following the intervention did not highlight any significant reduction in the areas of risk and need identified prior to beginning treatment. Finally, the research study confirms a positive relationship between the experience of trauma and the expression of aggression in children and adolescents, together with the interaction of protective factors (self-image, emotional intelligence, and resilience) on this relationship.

Conclusion: There is a direct relationship between childhood trauma and the onset of problematic behaviours. Findings can inform assessment and intervention processes for health and social care services providing support to children and adolescents presenting with trauma. Research that informs the continuing development of trauma-informed services is important to reduce health-harming behaviours, with a subsequent reduction in future service demands and costs.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (DForenPsy)
Supervisors: Duff, Simon
Donnelly, Robert
Keywords: Trauma, Adversity, Aggression, Resilience, Protective Factors, EMDR, Children, Young People
Subjects: W Medicine and related subjects (NLM Classification) > WM Psychiatry
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine
Item ID: 57113
Depositing User: Drysdale, Stephen
Date Deposited: 28 Jul 2020 10:57
Last Modified: 28 Jul 2020 11:00
URI: https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/57113

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