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February 2012

Post-traumatic stress disorder Exit Disclaimer (PTSD) and other mental health challenges can impair a youth's capacity to reach age-appropriate developmental goals.

With help from families, friends, providers, and other Heroes of Hope, children and youth can be resilient when dealing with trauma. Visit www.samhsa.gov/children to learn more.

Numerous studies in recent years document the high prevalence of mental health challenges among youth in the juvenile justice system, principally noting increased rates of traumatic stress.1,2,3,4,5,6,7 In particular, youth in juvenile detention generally suffer from PTSD at greater rates than other youth, and within juvenile detention, females typically experience higher rates of PTSD than males.8

Among a sample of youth in juvenile detention, 93 percent of males and 84 percent of females reported exposure to a traumatic experience. Eleven percent of males and 15 percent of females met the criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD and other mental health challenges can impair a youth's capacity to reach age-appropriate developmental goals.

Research has shown that caregivers can buffer the impact of trauma and promote better outcomes for children, even under stressful times, when the following Strengthening Families Protective Factors are present:

  • Parental resilience
  • Social connections
  • Knowledge of parenting and child development
  • Concrete support in times of need
  • Social and emotional competence of children9

Use these sample messages to share this childhood trauma and resilience data point with your connections on Twitter and Facebook and via email.

Twitter: 93% of males & 84% of females in juvenile detention reported exposure to #trauma http://1.usa.gov/zKxV8K via @samhsagov #HeroesofHope

Facebook: Among youth in juvenile detention, 11% of males and 15% of females met the criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD can impair a youth's ability to reach developmental goals. Learn more about the behavioral health impact of traumatic events on children and youth and pass it on to observe National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day: http://1.usa.gov/zKxV8K

References:

  1. Arroyo, W. (2001). PTSD in children and adolescents in the juvenile justice system. In S. Eth (Ed). Review of Psychiatry, 20(1),: PTSD in Children and Adolescents (59-86). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishing.
  2. Abram, K.A., Teplin, L.A., Charles, D.R., Longworth, S.L., McClelland, G.M., and Dulcan, M.K. (2004). Posttraumatic stress disorder and trauma in youth in juvenile detention. Archives of General Psychiatry, 61, 403-409.
  3. Cauffman, E., Feldman, S.S., Waterman, J., and Steiner, H. (1998). Posttraumatic stress disorder among female juvenile offenders. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 37(11), 1209-1217.
  4. Steiner, H., Garcia, I.G., & Mathews, Z. (1997). Posttraumatic stress disorder in incarcerated juvenile delinquents. Journal of American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 36(3), 357-365.
  5. Wasserman, G.A., McReynolds, L.S., Lucas, C.P., Fisher, P., and Santos, L. (2002). The Voice DISC-IV with incarcerated male youth: Prevalence of disorder. Journal of American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 41(3), 314-321.
  6. Wood, J., Foy, D., Goguen, C., Pynoos, R., James, C.B. (2002a). Violence exposure and PTSD among delinquent girls. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma, 6(1), 109-126.
  7. Wood, J., Foy, D., Layne, C., Pynoos, R., and Boyd James, C., (2002b). An examination of the relationships between violence exposure posttraumatic stress symptomatology and delinquent activity: An "ecopathological" model of delinquent behavior among incarcerated adolescents. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma, 6(1), 127-147.
  8. Hennessey, M., Ford, J.D., Mahoney, K., Ko, S.J., Siegfried, C.B. (2004). Trauma among Girls in the Juvenile Justice System, From the National Child Traumatic Stress Network Juvenile Justice Working Group. Retrieved from www.NCTSNet.org. Exit Disclaimer
  9. Horton, C. (2003). Protective factors literature review. Early care and education programs and the prevention of child abuse and neglect. Center for the Study of Social Policy.

If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs to talk, please call 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).

Return to main page of SAMHSA.gov/Children | For more information, click here to email AwarenessDay2014@vancomm.com