- The validity of the DSM-IV PTSD criteria in children and adolescents: a review
- Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry
- Volume | Issue number
- 17 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
Faculty of Medicine (AMC-UvA)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Objective: DSM-V is on its way and doubts have been raised regarding the validity of pediatric
PTSD. It is the goal of the current review to critically review the empirical literature on PTSD in
Method: A search of PsycINFO, PubMed and reference lists was conducted. Empirical information
considered relevant regarding the validity of the criteria was collected.
Results/Conclusions: The validity of the symptom criteria and clusters varies, with the
Avoidance/Numbing cluster outperforming the Re-experiencing—and Arousal cluster. Factor
analytic findings suggest that Arousal criterion D4 should be placed within the Re-experiencing
cluster, and that the Avoidance/Numbing cluster should be split up. Some non-DSM-IV PTSD
symptoms, among which guilt, have considerable validity in trauma-exposed youth and their
inclusion in DSM-V PTSD should be considered. As for preschool children, alternative criteria are
recommended that are more developmentally sensitive.
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