Summary: Fairbank JA, Ebert L, and Caddell JM. "Posttraumatic stress disorder," in Sutker PB and Adams HE, eds, Comprehensive Handbook of Psychopathology. 183-209. New York, Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers. 2001.

This comprehensive overview of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) generally focuses on research on adults. It discusses the epidemiology of the disorder-how many people have it and how it is distributed through the population; risk factors for developing PTSD; and issues of assessment and treatment.

A number of studies discussed here examine exposure to traumatizing events among children and adolescents and offer estimates of the prevalence of PTSD among youth exposed to specific traumas. Research remains to be done, however, on rates of PTSD among the general population of children and adolescents. Researchers have developed a number of tools to assess psychological problems in general and PTSD specifically in young people. Community-based interventions are promising strategies in the treatment of PTSD in young people.