Presenters: Brad Stolbach, PhD, Associate Professor, Pediatrics, University of Chicago Medicine, and Patricia Kerig, PhD, Clinical Psychology, University of Utah

Gang-involved youth in the US have been likened to “America’s child soldiers,” particularly in regard to their exposure to trauma. Involvement in armed groups, from revolutionary movements to gangs, is a major contributor to children’s experience of trauma and concomitant psychological sequelae. Although in some situations children are forcibly recruited into armed groups, in many contexts recruitment processes and reasons for joining are complex and involve a degree of choice and social agency.

This webinar explores the conditions that contribute to youth affiliation with armed groups, including racialized structural and economic violence, individual and community traumatization, and high-risk behavioral adaptations to chronic violence. Findings of research with gang-involved youth and anecdotal evidence are used to elucidate the pathway by which American children may join armed groups and the traumatic effects of gang involvement. Speakers draw parallels between gang-involved youth in the United States and child soldiers in other countries, as well as US youth who have been trafficked in other contexts. They also describe current promising approaches to trauma-informed intervention with this population and make recommendations for intervention, research, and system reform.

Available: Originally presented on July 6th and now available On Demand.



 

July is National Minority Mental Health Month. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network is proud to observe this important public awareness campaign this month.

According to SAMHSA, mental illness affects one in five adults and one in 10 children in America. Mental illness is a leading cause of disability, yet nearly two-thirds of people with a diagnosable mental illness do not seek treatment. Racial and ethnic groups in the United States are even less likely to get help, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Minorities are less likely to receive diagnosis and treatment for their mental illness, have less access to and availability of mental health services, and often receive a poorer quality of mental health care.

During National Minority Mental Health Month, help raise awareness in your organization or community. Encourage discussion among your family, friends, loved ones, and clients about the need for improving our understanding of—and decreasing the stigma about–mental health and illness.

NCTSN views enhancing cultural competence as essential to furthering the mission of increasing access to and improving the standard of care for traumatized children, families, and communities across the nation. Check out NCTSN resources spotlighting culture and trauma.



 

Don’t forget to book your hotel room by July 21st-  (Sheraton Hotel At Austin Capitol)

 

 

Resilience has become a popular concept, but what defines this quality in foster youth? According to Amnoni Myers, BSW, who grew up in the foster care system and who now counsels foster youth as they transition out of the system, “Resilience is knowing when you’re falling and knowing how to catch yourself.” When her clients at Family Matters of Greater Washington in DC ask for her help, Myers understands they are demonstrating resilience. In this podcast with host Brian Houston, PhD, Director of the Disaster and Community Crisis Center at the University of Missouri, Myers discusses ways in which resource parents can help their foster youth build their inner resilience. By meeting youth “where they are” and empowering them to tell their stories, resource parents can function as listeners and learners and offer support and opportunities for growth. They can also remind their youth that “none of us makes it here alone” and that resource parents are part of the team to help them thrive and grow.




Trauma-Informed Care in the Massachusetts Child Trauma Project

J. D. Bartlett, B. Barto, J. L. Griffin, J. G Fraser, H. Hodgdon, and R. Bodian have co-authored Trauma-Informed Care in the Massachusetts Child Trauma Project published in Child Maltreatment (Volume 21, Number 2). Trauma-informed care (TIC) is a promising strategy for addressing traumatized children's needs, but research on the impact of TIC in Child Welfare (CW) is limited. This study examines initial findings of the Massachusetts Child Trauma Project, a statewide TIC initiative in the CW system and mental health network.


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A Randomized Implementation Study of Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Adjudicated Teens in Residential Treatment Facilities

J. Cohen, A. Mannarino, K. Jankowski, S. Rosenberg, S. Kodya, and G. Wolford, co-authors on A Randomized Implementation Study of Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Adjudicated Teens in Residential Treatment Facilities published this year in Child Maltreatment, (Volume 21, Number 2) evaluated strategies for implementing trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) in resident residential treatment facilities (RTFs).

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Impaired Caregiving, Trauma Exposure, and Psychosocial Functioning in a National Sample of Children and Adolescents

R. Vivrette, E. Briggs, R. Lee, K. Kenney, T. Houston-Armstrong, R. Pynoos, and L. Kiser in their article, Impaired Caregiving, Trauma Exposure, and Psychosocial Functioning in a National Sample of Children and Adolescents,published this year in the Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma (Volume 1, Number 10), compared clinic-referred youth age 7–18 years (n = 3988) on Impairments in Caregiving (ICG), history, demographics, trauma history, and mental health symptoms. Youth with ICG were found at heightened risk for trauma exposure, PTSD, internalizing symptoms, total behavioral problems, and attachment problems, particularly youth with multiple types of ICG. ICG was related to trauma exposure within and outside the family context.

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Factor Structure of the PTSD Checklist for DSM-5: Relationships Among Symptom Clusters, Anger, and Impulsivity

C. Armour, A. Contractor, T. Shea, E. Elhai, and R. Pietrzak in their article, Factor Structure of the PTSD Checklist for DSM-5: Relationships Among Symptom Clusters, Anger, and Impulsivity, published this year in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease (Volume 204, Number 2), evaluated six competing models of DSM-5 PTSD symptoms, including Anhedonia, Externalizing Behaviors, and Hybrid models, using confirmatory factor analyses in a sample of 412 trauma-exposed college students.

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Implementing a Trauma-Informed Approach in Pediatric Health Care Networks

M. Marsac, N. Kassam-Adams, A. Hildenbrand, E. Nicholls, F. Winston, S. Leff, and J. Fein in their article Implementing a Trauma-Informed Approach in Pediatric Health Care Networks published this year in JAMA Pediatrics (Volume 170, Number 1) indicate that given the daily challenges of working in pediatric health care networks, medical professionals and support staff can experience trauma symptoms related to their work. Further, the authors highlight the importance of implementing a trauma-informed approach and offer a framework for training pediatric health care networks in trauma-informed care practices.

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This project was funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The views, policies, and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of SAMHSA or HHS.