Childhood Trauma and Effective Empirically Based Interventions

Wendy Clements, Larry D. Williams, Tyrone David, S. Lavi Wilson


Trauma affects many children in various ways globally. According to SAMHSA (2017), the “occurrence of child trauma is very prevalent, and 75% of children reported experiencing at least one traumatic event by age 16”. Traumatic events consist of “psychological, physical, or sexual abuse; community or school violence; witnessing or experiencing domestic violence; national disasters or terrorism; commercial sexual exploitation; sudden or violent loss of a loved one; refugee or war experiences; military family-related stressors; physical or sexual assault; neglect; and serious accidents or life-threatening illness” (SAMHSA, 2017). This literature review evaluates three different attachment-based, trauma-informed interventions for young children 0-7 years of age which are: Attachment and Bio-Behavioral Catchup (ABC), Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP), and Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT). Throughout this review, childhood trauma will be defined, and the current occurrence rates will be discussed. Furthermore, the descriptions of the above therapies, clinical trials, and research findings will be examined, and a discussion of the literature review findings will follow.

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