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World of hurt

Many traumatized kids don't receive scientifically backed treatment

10:15am, August 22, 2008

There’s good news and, not surprisingly, bad news for children and teenagers grappling with the psychological aftermath of trauma. On the up side, research shows that certain interventions ease post-traumatic stress disorder and other trauma-related problems in young people. On the down side, most mental-health practitioners use trauma treatments for kids and teens that lack scientific support.

These conclusions come from an extensive research review conducted by the Task Force on Community Preventive Services, an independent group of 12 investigators partly funded by the federal government. Its findings appear in the September American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

To make matters worse, pediatricians and school officials rarely screen children for past exposure to traumatic events and resulting psychological symptoms, the task force notes. Efforts are underway to develop web-based guides for parents and

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