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Developmental Traumatology: Trauma and Fetal Alcohol Exposure: Neurodevelopmental ‎Implications
StressPoints
Date posted: 07/29/2021
Topic: Assessment and Psychometrics
As awareness of how childhood trauma affects neurodevelopment grows, questions arise about symptom complexity and how neurodevelopment is affected by other comorbid conditions. Youth exposed to toxic stress from early, severe and/or chronic maltreatment can show alterations in brain structure and connectivity that impact cognition, emotion regulation and stress reactivity (Teicher & Samson, 2016). However, neurodevelopment is also influenced by genetics and other types of adversity, including in utero exposure to substances. As child maltreatment co-occurs frequently with parental substance use and prenatal alcohol exposure, understanding the relationship between the two is important to differential diagnosis and treatment.
Media Matters: Next-Generation 911 Technology and Potential Impacts on First Responder Mental Health
StressPoints
Date posted: 05/27/2021
Topic: Assessment and Psychometrics
Emergency medical services in the United States currently rely primarily on audio calls and location data to respond to emergencies. With the increasing use of other means of communication such as text messages and video calls, however, communications centers are moving towards incorporating Next-Generation 911 (NG911) technology that allows callers to share texts, photos, and video with communications personnel. This enhanced medium of communication has potential advantages and disadvantages, just as the expansion of other media platforms have increased accessibility to information while also potentially increasing psychological distress related to these events (see previous Media Matters in StressPoints for review: Massa & Jones, 2020).
Assessment of Reliability and Validity of a German Diagnostic Interview Module for ICD-11 Adjustment Disorder
Date posted: 04/9/2021
Topic: Assessment and Psychometrics
Adjustment disorder (AjD) is a relatively frequent mental disorder in various clinical settings and high-risk groups of the general population (Perkonigg et al., 2018). The clinical utility of the AjD diagnosis has been often criticized (e.g., Casey, 2014) and the disorder was under-researched for example due to the fact that few descriptive and analytical epidemiological data were available. 
Screening for posttraumatic stress disorder using the PCL-5
Date posted: 04/2/2021
Topic: Assessment and Psychometrics
Detecting post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among antiretroviral therapy (ART) users is an important matter in the context of providing public health services. In South Africa, the country with the largest number of persons living with HIV, the prevalence of community violence and its psychological consequences, including PTSD are high. Among both persons seeking an HIV test and persons living with HIV (PLWH), traumatic events and symptoms of posttraumatic stress have been reported in non-trivial proportions. 
From Our Members: Developing Core Competencies in Health and Behavioral Health Responses to Human ‎Trafficking
StressPoints
Date posted: 04/1/2021
Topic: Assessment and Psychometrics
Human trafficking is a form of traumatic stress, and a public health issue, that has been gaining increasing attention over the past two decades. Forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation are two of the most common forms of human trafficking. Central to the trauma of human trafficking are the elements of force, fraud and coercion, including intense psychological and emotional manipulation (Baldwin, Fehrenbacher, & Eisenman, 2015; Hopper & Hidalgo, 2006). 
The importance of personality in the development of PTSD in firefighters
Date posted: 12/6/2020
Topic: Assessment and Psychometrics
Fire fighters routinely risk their lives to protect the public. Over 1 million fire fighters in the United States alone sign up for this dangerous profession to protect people, wildlands, and property despite known threats to their healthy, safety, and wellbeing. While our prior research points to remarkable levels of resilience in this population given their enormous exposure to a variety of traumatic experiences (Gulliver et al., in press), a minority of fire fighters do develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or related mental health problems. This points toward the presence of individual-level risk factors that drives this variability in responses to traumatic events. 
Clinician's Corner: A Two-Pronged Approach and Real-World Case Example to Assessing Secondary Traumatic Stress
StressPoints
Date posted: 11/24/2020
Topic: Assessment and Psychometrics
The research literature is replete with data demonstrating that professionals who work with clients experiencing traumatic stress symptoms are at risk of developing their own trauma responses, particularly if they have potent indirect exposure to distressing trauma details (Henzel, Ruiz, Finney et al., 2015). The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5 (DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association, 2013) identifies repeated and extreme indirect trauma exposure as a qualifying Criterion A event for consideration of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in professionals. Despite its clear framing as a clinical syndrome, best practice recommendations for addressing secondary traumatic stress in the literature have historically fallen into the domains of self-care, wellness and health promotion, with little application of evidence-based trauma interventions to the problem of secondary traumatic stress in practice (Molnar, Sprang, Killian, et al., 2017).
Media Matters: Trauma at our Fingertips: Understanding the Psychological Impact of Graphic Media Coverage
StressPoints
Date posted: 09/24/2020
Topic: Assessment and Psychometrics
It has never been easier to record—or even live stream—graphic events up close and share them with the world. While the existence of both smartphones and the internet has allowed the world to be more connected than ever before, we may also be at risk for greater exposure to disturbing images and videos (Holman et al., 2020). One may thus begin to wonder how frequent consumption of such graphic images impacts our mental health. Some studies have shown, perhaps unsurprisingly, positive associations between the amount of exposure to media coverage of violence and subsequent psychological distress (e.g., posttraumatic stress symptoms; Holman et al., 2020; Silver et al., 2013). 
SIG Spotlight: The Traumatic Loss and Grief SIG
StressPoints
Date posted: 09/24/2020
Topic: Assessment and Psychometrics
Widespread unmet needs arising from deaths due to the opioid, suicide, homicide, AIDS, COVID-19 and other epidemics are being met by an opportunity to make major strides in raising the standard of bereavement care worldwide. For the past three years, Drs. Robert Pynoos and the Traumatic Loss and Grief SIG Co-Chairs, Drs. Christopher Layne and Julie Kaplow, have been working with the American Psychiatric Association (APA) to formulate developmentally informed criteria for a new grief disorder in DSM-5-TR.
Clinician's Corner: Recognizing Traumatic Brain Injury Among Survivors of Intimate Partner Abuse
StressPoints
Date posted: 05/4/2020
Topic: Assessment and Psychometrics
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) have been called the signature injury suffered by veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and have been singled out as a risk factor for the development of dementing disease among world-class athletes.
 
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