March 2013




New Video! UCLA Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Reaction Index for DSM IV

A new video describing the UCLA PTSD Reaction Index for DSM IV, developed by Alan Steinberg and Robert Pynoos, is available on the NCTSN website. The UCLA OTSD RI is a self-report questionnaire to screen for exposure to traumatic events and assess PTSD symptoms in school-age children and adolescents. The scale assesses the frequency of occurrence of PTSD symptoms during the past month (rated from 0 = none of the time to 4 = most of the time). The items map directly onto DSM IV intrusion, avoidance, and arousal criteria, while two additional items assess associated features (fear of recurrence and trauma-related guilt). Scoring algorithms permit tabulation of UCLA PTSD-RI total score, and B, C, and D subscale scores.

Watch the video>>

The new edition of the classic Helping Traumatized Families not only offers clinicians a unified, evidence-based theory of the systemic impact of traumatic stress, but also details a comprehensive approach for helping families by promoting their natural healing resources. Though the impact of trauma on a family can produce growth, some families struggle or fail to adapt successfully. Helping Traumatized Families guides practitioners around common pitfalls and toward a series of evidence-based strategies that they can use to empower families to make peace with the past and regain control of their lives.




Secondary Traumatic Stress Speaker Series

Secondary Traumatic Stress for Educators

Presenters: James Caringi, PhD, National Native Children’s Trauma Center; Bev Lawrason, St. Bernard Parish School Chalmette, Lousiana; Robin Gurwitch, PhD, Duke University; Rock Costa, PsyD, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine

Presenters discuss secondary traumatic stress as it relates to school settings.

Estrés Traumático Secundario Video-Conferencia

Presenters: Adriana Molina, MS, LMFT, Children’s Institute, Inc.; Susana Rivera, PhD, LPC, Serving Children and Adolescents in Need; Blanca Nellie Hernández, PhD, LCP, DePelchin Children’s Center; Marta Casas, MA, LCP, Children’s Witness to Violence Project and the Trauma Center at JRI

Los ponentes abordarán la influencia de la cultura en los proveedores de salud mental para hacer frente al estrés traumático secundario (STS) y las elecciones que hacen los médicos a buscar, o buscar, no apoyan. También se explorará la manera cultural-incluida la inmigración historia-informa el trabajo de los clínicos con niños y familias que han experimentado un trauma; ilustrar la relación entre la cultura y el STS a través de un ejemplo de un caso personal, e introducir el concepto de resiliencia vicaria. Los presentadores entregar las implicaciones culturales en seminario Secundaria estrés postraumático, que se describen más arriba, en español, un día después de la presentación Inglés.


Working with LGBTQ Youth and Families Speaker Series

An Introduction to Working with LGBTQ Youth

April 2, 2013 (9:00 a.m. PST)

Presenters: Al Killen-Harvey, LCSW, Chadwick Center for Children and Families at Rady Children’s Hospital and Health Center; Betty Hill, MPM, Persad; and  Sandy Soloski, MA, CAC, Persad

This webinar will provide participants with information about many levels of cultural competence when working with LGBTQ Youth. Presenters will discuss the coming out process and gender as a continuum rather than a binary concept. Participants will also be informed about to be better prepared to affirm individuals in the coming out process.


Recent Publications by Network Members, Affiliates, and Colleagues:

Alan Steinberg, Melissa Brymer, Soeun Kim, Ernestine Briggs, Chandra Ghosh Ippen, Sarah Ostrowski, Kevin Gully, and Robert Pynoos are the authors of Psychometric Properties of the UCLA PTSD Reaction Index: Part I in the Journal of Traumatic Stress (Volume 26, Issue 1). This article presents psychometric characteristics of the UCLA PTSD Reaction Index for DSM IV (PTSD-RI) derived from a large sample of children and adolescents (N = 6,291) evaluated at NCTSN centers. The overall mean total PTSD-RI score for girls was significantly higher as compared with boys. Age-related differences were found in that overall mean total PTSD-RI scores and within sex groups were higher among those aged 7-9 years and 16-18 years. There were no significant differences in mean total PTSD-RI scores across racial/ethnic groups. The PTSD-RI total scale displayed good to excellent internal consistency reliability across age ranges, sex, and racial/ethnic groups (α = .88-.91). Correlations of PTSD-RI scores with PTS subscale scores on the TSCC-A for the entire sample and within sex, age, and ethnic/racial groups provided evidence of convergent validity, although not discriminant validity. In contradistinction to previously reported 4-factor models, an exploratory factor analysis revealed 3 factors that mostly reflected the underlying dimensions of PTSD in DSM IV. PTSD-RI scores were associated with increased odds ratios for functional/behavior problems (odds ratio [OR] = 1-1.80). These findings are striking in light of the wide range of trauma exposures, age, and race/ethnicity among subjects.


2Jon Elhai, Christopher Layne, Alan Steinberg, Melissa Brymer, Ernestine Briggs, Sarah Ostrowski, and Robert Pynoos are the authors of Psychometric Properties of the UCLA PTSD Reaction Index. Part II: Investigating Factor Structure Findings in a National Clinic-Referred Youth Sample in the Journal of Traumatic Stress (Volume 26, Issue 1). This study examined the underlying factor structure of the UCLA PTSD Reaction Index (PTSD-RI) using data from 6,591 children/adolescents exposed to trauma, presenting for treatment at any of 54 NCTSN centers. Using confirmatory factor analysis, authors tested the 3-factor DSM-IV PTSD model, 2 separate 4-factor models (Dysphoria vs. Emotional Numbing) and a recently conceptualized 5-factor Dysphoric Arousal model and found a slight, but significant advantage for the Dysphoria model over the Emotional Numbing model on the PTSD-RI, with a difference in Bayesian information criterion (BIC) values of 81 points. As with several recent studies of adult trauma victims, authors found a slight advantage for the Dysphoric Arousal model over the other models on the PTSD-RI, with BIC differences exceeding 300 points. Retaining the Dysphoric Arousal model, they tested the convergent validity of the PTSD-RI factors against subscales of the Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children. Supporting the convergent validity of the PTSD-RI in the Dysphoric Arousal model, the dysphoric arousal factor related most strongly to anger, whereas the emotional numbing factor related most strongly to depression, and the anxious arousal factor related most strongly to anxiety. Results support the use of the PTSD-RI for evaluating PTSD among youth.


Scott Cicero is co-author of the book chapter Vulnerability and Resilience in Childhood Trauma and PTSD in Post-traumatic Syndromes in Childhood and Adolescence which looks at clustering resilience and vulnerability factors into a classification system by groups as one approach to understanding these characteristics in the development of PTSD. Resilience and vulnerability characteristics in the development of PTSD are multifactorial, requiring an understanding of biological, environmental, psychological/developmental, and social variables. It is also critical to understand how previous experience, stressor-related features, and cognitive attributes contribute to the clinical presentation when working with these individuals.





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