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Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2014 Apr;23(2):257-79, viii. doi: 10.1016/j.chc.2013.12.004. Epub 2014 Feb 16.

Mass trauma: disasters, terrorism, and war.

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Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA; Duke Child and Family Study Center, 2608 Erwin Road Lakeview Pavilion, Suite 300, Durham, NC 27705, USA; Mental Health Service Line, Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Durham, NC 27705, USA. Electronic address:
National Capital Consortium Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences School of Medicine, 4301 Jones Bridge Road, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA; Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, 8901 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20889, USA.


Disasters, war, and terrorism expose millions of children globally to mass trauma with increasing frequency and severity. The clinical impact of such exposure is influenced by a child's social ecology, which is understood in a risk and resilience framework. Research findings informed by developmental systems theory and the related core principles of contemporary developmental psychopathology are reviewed. Their application to the recent recommendations for interventions based on evolving public health models of community resilience are discussed along with practical clinical tools for individual response.


Child development; Children; Disasters; Mass trauma; Mental health; Terrorism; War

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