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The Epidemiology of Trauma & Trauma Related Disorders in Children & Youth

A resource from the National Center for PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) 

With its focus on the population of children exposed to Hurricane Katrina, this research illustrates an epidemiologic approach to the study of trauma. Epidemiological studies of children and youth tend to fall into four broad categories. The first category is research designed to estimate the prevalence and impact of a range of traumas in general populations of youth, sometimes using national samples. The second category is research designed to estimate the severity of exposure to and impact of specific disasters on children and youth. Many of these studies use school-based samples. A third category is research designed to estimate the prevalence of child maltreatment, which often makes use of official data as reported by child protective service (CPS) agencies. Research on vulnerable groups of children represents a fourth category of epidemiological research. This category includes studies of children at high risk for exposure to trauma, including those in child-serving systems, such as juvenile justice or foster care.