THE IMPACT OF COMPLEX POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER AND STRUCTURAL VIOLENCE ON CHILDREN IN IMPOVERISHED URBAN COMMUNITIES
Author(s)Ronca, Kristen E
KeywordsMedical ethics; Developmental psychology; Mental health;
Childhood Trauma; Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; Complex Trauma; Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; Urban Bioethics; Urban Childhood Trauma
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American children growing up in poor urban communities experience a disproportionate amount of direct and indirect violence in addition to the challenges of growing up with limited resources. Due to high amounts of physical and structural violence in these communities, urban youth are at increased risk for complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD) and its associated sequelae, such as asthma, obesity, diabetes, and behavioral problems. Evidence demonstrates that sexual abuse and repeated interpersonal trauma leads to more intense symptomatology than traditional post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and traumatic events in early childhood predisposes one to a C-PTSD reaction. This literature review of complex trauma serves to further validate the need for modern psychiatry to recognize C-PTSD as a diagnosis and to identify treatment interventions for this vulnerable population.